Transanal endoscopic micro-surgery (TEMS) for the management of large or sessile rectal adenomas: a review of the technique and indications

Int Semin Surg Oncol. 2006 May 4;3:13. doi: 10.1186/1477-7800-3-13.

Abstract

In this review article the surgical technique of Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEMS) is examined. A number of techniques have been used to treat adenomas of the rectum. The treatment of large adenomas which occupy a large surface of the rectal lumen or adenomas which are flat and grow in a "carpet-like" fashion is particularly challenging. Major rectal surgery carries a risk of morbidity and mortality, particularly in elderly and unfit patients. Although local excision with transanal resection (TAR) and the Kraske sacral operation have been used in the past, during the last twenty years TEMS has become the method of choice for those lesions. TEMS is efficient and minimally invasive. The technique allows the patient to recover rapidly and the incidence of complications is much lower than that of major surgery. In case of recurrence the option of repeat TEMS or major surgery remain available. TEMS has been slow to gain popularity mainly for reasons of cost and steep learning curve but it is now an established procedure and a valuable therapeutic option which is particularly useful for elderly and unfit patients. Gastroenterologists should be aware of the nature and indications of TEMS in order to advise and refer selected patients with rectal adenomas accordingly.