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Applied vascular anatomy of the colon and rectum: Clinical implications for the surgical oncologist

Authors
Journal
Surgical Oncology
0960-7404
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
15
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.suronc.2007.03.002
Keywords
  • Cancer
  • Colon
  • Rectum
  • Colorectal
  • Surgery
  • Resection
  • Radical
  • Colectomy
  • Arteries
  • Lymphatics
  • Lymph Nodes
  • Veins
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Summary Surgery remains the most radical method of treatment of many solid tumors, including colorectal cancer; in these tumors, surgery is the only method that can offer the chance of cure. To avoid early postoperative morbidity (mainly, anastomotic leak) and to achieve good long-term results (low incidence of tumor recurrence, long overall and disease-free survival, and optimal quality of life), the surgeon should have an in-depth knowledge of vascular anatomy of the colon and rectum. This essential requirement is based on the fact that the actual course followed by lymph fluid drainage from any part of the colon/rectum is determined by its blood supply; therefore, the extent of resection for colorectal cancer follows the principles of blood supply and lymphatic drainage. Knowledge of the colorectal vascular anatomy and its variations is of vital importance in the planning of radical surgical treatment and in appropriately performing colorectal resections, particularly in the patient who underwent in the past colectomy or aortic surgery that has changed the usual pattern of collateral blood supply to the colon. This review summarizes currently available data regarding vascular anatomy of the colon and rectum, from a surgical perspective.

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