Sigmoidofiberscopic incision plus balloon dilatation for anastomotic cicatricial stricture after anterior resection of the rectum.
Hagiwara A, Sakakura C, Shirasu M, Torii T, Hirata Y, Yamagishi H.
First Department of Surgery, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine. Kawaramachi-Hirokoji, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602, Japan.
We describe the procedure and examine the therapeutic efficacy of a combination of sigmoidofiberscopic incision plus balloon dilatation for tubular stricture by thick, long scar tissue at the colorectal anastomosis after anterior resection for rectal cancer. Balloon dilatation alone does not always relieve the strictures, although this method is the usual therapy for this condition. Five patients were identified in whom the stricture was not improved with balloon dilatation alone. Of these five patients, three complained of difficulty defecating, a feeling of incomplete evacuation, residual feces, and lower abdominal fullness. The remaining two patients, who had transverse colostomy to treat major leakage at the anastomosis, showed no symptoms. All five patients underwent the combination therapy described below. Two or three small radial incisions were made in the scar of the stricture with electrocautery under fiberscopic vision. Then the strictural scar was split and loosened bluntly along the incisions over a 15- to 20-minute period with a balloon dilator. This procedure was performed once or twice at a 2-week interval. In all five patients the stricture was improved according to objective criteria. There was also an improvement in the subjective symptoms suffered by three patients. The improvements were maintained over observation periods of 9 to 15 months. No complications were observed. Sigmoidofiberscopic incision plus balloon dilatation is an effective, safe therapy for cicatricial strictures after anterior resection for rectal cancer when the strictures have failed to improve following balloon dilatation alone.