Curative reoperations for locally recurrent rectal cancer

Kimitaka Suzuki, Roger R. Dozois, Richard M. Devine, Heidi Nelson, Amy L. Weaver, Leonard L. Gunderson, Duane M. Ilstrup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Our aims were to determine the morbidity, survival and its influencing factors, and patterns of failure for patients who underwent further surgery with the hope of cure for locally recurrent rectal cancer. METHODS: Between January 1981 and December 1988, 224 patients with a preoperative diagnosis of recurrent rectal cancer underwent additional surgery at Mayo Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota. Of these, 65 underwent further surgery with the hope of cure, i.e., no gross/microscopic residual disease at tumor margins after reoperation. Factors assessed included type of original operation, time interval between operation for primary tumor and initial operation for recurrence, symptom status, degree of fixation, types of reoperations for recurrence, and adjuvant therapy. RESULTS: None of the patients died within 30 days of reoperation. Seventeen complications requiring hospitalization and/or surgical procedure were observed in 14 patients. Extended operations (involving partial or complete removal of surrounding organs/structures) required more time to perform, a greater number of transfusions, and a longer hospital stay than more limited operations. Three-year, five-year, and median survival were 57, 34, and 44.7 months, respectively. Survival was greater after curative than after palliative resection (P < 0.001). Survival tended to be greater in females (P < 0.075) and in patients without pain (P < 0.065). Cumulative probability of local failure was 24, 41, and 47 percent at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Cumulative risk of distant metastasis was 30, 51, and 62 percent at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that complete excision of locally recurrent rectal cancer can provide a significant number of patients with long-term survival and can be accomplished safely in select patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)730-736
Number of pages7
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1996


  • Rectal cancer
  • Recurrence of rectal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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