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Lower anterior section

Rectal cancer surgery

A procedure to treat cancer of the rectum

About

If you are diagnosed with rectal cancer, and it is not too close to the sphincter, your consultant may recommend a lower anterior section. It involves removing the affected part of the rectum and sometimes part of the sigmoid colon, and then reattaching them.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    This procedure is usually carried out under general anaesthetic, meaning you'll be asleep, and may be carried out as keyhole or open surgery. Your surgeon will remove the cancer and a small amount of tissue around it. They will then attach the rectum back to the sigmoid colon, and this join is known as the anastamosis. To allow the anastamosis to heal, your consultant may wish to divert faeces away from the area during your initial recovery. They can create a stoma, re-routing part of the colon to an opening on your abdomen. A second operation will then be needed to close the stoma, known as a stoma reversal, around eight weeks later.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will tell you how to prepare for the procedure, answer any questions you may have, and discuss any possible risks and side effects involved. Your multidisciplinary team may advise another type of treatment before you have this surgery, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, to try and reduce the size of the tumour first. If you need general anaesthetic, they will advise you on how long you should avoid eating and drinking beforehand.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    After your procedure, your consultant will let you know how successful the cancer removal was, and what the next steps will be in your treatment. You should eat a healthy diet of fresh fruit and vegetables with plenty of fluids. Your appetite may take a few weeks to recover fully. If your procedure involved creating a stoma, you'll be given specialist advice on how to care for this until you have the operation to reverse it.
Consultant with patient

Our consultants

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • facility-pgh-hero-579x579

    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 3131 7216
    Enquiries 020 3130 6833

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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