Abdominoperineal resection (APR) for many years was the treatment of choice for most patients with rectal cancer. Recent advances in surgical technique and other treatment modalities have led to a marked increase in the rate of sphincter-sparing operations, with a concomitant decrease in APR. However, it is still necessary in selected patients, especially those with very distal tumors or poor sphincter function. This review will cover the history of APR, current operative strategy and complications, oncologic and quality of life results, as well as potential future advances.
Keywords: Rectal cancer; abdominoperineal resection; surgery.