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Increased use of low anterior resection for veterans with rectal cancer


Background — Two surgical procedures with curative intent are available to patients with rectal cancer: lower anterior resection and abdominoperineal resection; however, lower anterior resection may improve quality of life and functional status.

Aim — To examine temporal changes in after lower anterior resection and abdominoperineal resection between 1989 and 2000. Potential factors associated with the use of lower anterior resection were evaluated.

Methods — Using national administrative data, we identified patients who received lower anterior resection or abdominoperineal resection. Logistic regression models examined the association between use of lower anterior resection and time period of surgical resection.

Results — A total of 5201 rectal cancer patients underwent resection. The use of lower anterior resection increased from 40.0% (1989–91) to 50.1% (1998–2000) paralleled by a corresponding decline in abdominoperineal resection (60.1 to 49.9%; P < 0.001). Patients who received surgery during 1992–94, 1995–97 and 1998–2000 were 6, 7 and 28% more likely to receive lower anterior resection, when compared with 1989–1991 after adjusting for demographic characteristics, co-morbidity and hospital surgical volume. Older age, lower co-morbidity score and lower hospital surgical volume were predictive of lower anterior resection.

Conclusions — An increase in the use of lower anterior resection for rectal cancer was observed over time. This observed increase in use is not confined to high-volume hospitals.



Abraham NS, Davila JA, Rabeneck L, Berger DH, El-Serag HB. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005; 21(1):35-41.

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