Early Surveillance Endoscopy Should Be Performed Selectively After Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery for Rectal Lesions

Cureus. 2024 May 18;16(5):e60554. doi: 10.7759/cureus.60554. eCollection 2024 May.


Introduction Local recurrence (LR) rates after transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) are unclear, and the utility of early postoperative surveillance for low-risk lesions is unknown. This study aimed to define LR after TEM for benign polyps and invasive adenocarcinoma, describe risk factors for LR, and evaluate the utility of early surveillance endoscopy. Methods This retrospective cohort study was conducted at two hospitals in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Adult patients who underwent TEM between 2009 and 2020 were evaluated for inclusion. The primary outcome was the rate of LR on surveillance endoscopy. Other outcomes included risk factors for LR and diagnostic yield of surveillance endoscopy. Results Among 357 patients who underwent TEM for benign polyps, LR was 10.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) 5.8-15.2) at three years. Positive margin was correlated with LR on multivariate analysis (hazard ratio (HR) 8.01, 95% CI 2.78-23.08). TEM defect closure was associated with lower LR on multivariate analysis (HR 0.19, 95% CI 0.06-0.59). Among 124 patients who underwent TEM for rectal adenocarcinoma, LR was 15.0% (95% CI 6.0-24.0) at three years. The first surveillance endoscopy had a 1.4% yield for low-risk patients (benign lesion, negative margins, and closed TEM defect) and 6.9% for all others. Conclusions LR at three years after TEM was 10.5% for benign polyps and 15.0% for adenocarcinomas. Early surveillance endoscopy can be considered low yield in some patients after TEM, which can be informative for shared decision-making regarding whether to proceed with early endoscopy in a low-risk subgroup of patients.

Keywords: endoscopy; minimally invasive surgery; rectal cancer; rectal cancer surveillance; rectal polyps; transanal endoscopic microsurgery; transanal endoscopic surgery.