Splenic flexure mobilization in low anterior resection


  • Ahmed Maher Megreya Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Egypt
  • Ahmed S. Elgammal Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Egypt
  • Mahmoud A. Shahin Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Egypt




Lateral approach, Low anterior resection, Splenic flexure mobilization


Background: The use of splenic flexure mobilization (SFM) for rectal cancer surgery is still controversial. SFM includes division of the splenocolic, phrenocolic, gastrocolic and pancreaticomesocolic ligaments, which is time-consuming. The aim of present prospective study of low anterior resection in case of cancer rectum was to compare splenic flexure mobilization (SFM) carried out by an extended medial approach with that by a lateral approach.

Methods: A prospective study was carried out in General Surgery Department, Menoufia University, Egypt between October 2017 and December 2018. Patients were allocated randomly into two groups in which first group (group A) allocated to medial mobilization of splenic flexure and the second group was allocated into lateral approach of splenic flexure. The extended medial involved continuing the medial to lateral approach upwards to enter the lesser sac over the pancreas, thus permitting detachment of the splenic flexure. However, lateral approach involves dissection of retroperitoneal fascia.

Results: Thirty patients, including 20 undergoing a lateral SFM and 10 an extended medial SFM, were evaluated. Mean number of lymph nodes in lateral and medial approach are (17.7±5.6, 24.3±6 respectively) with significant (P-value=0.04). Interestingly, Intra-operative blood loss in lateral approach is more than medial approach (175±25.3, 160.1±30 respectively) with significant (p-value=0.02). The interval to oral intake (3±0.3 days extended medial, 4.1±0.7 lateral, P=0.14).

Conclusions: An extended medial approach for SFM during low anterior resection of rectal cancer appears to be an improvement over the previously used lateral approach because it may provide a shorter operation time and higher number of harvested lymph nodes with less intra-operative blood loss.


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