Clin Colon Rectal Surg 2021; 34(03): 151-154
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1718684
Review Article

Current Challenges for Education and Training in Transanal Surgery

Meagan Costedio
1   Department of Colorectal Surgery, University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center, Beachwood, Ohio
2   Department of Colorectal Surgery, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio
› Author Affiliations


Transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) is a technique that was introduced in the 1980s for improved exposure to upper rectal polyps. This technique, though initially difficult to master due to new skill acquisition for surgeons, has spared many patients proctectomy. There are many benign indications for transanal endoscopic surgery which has led to in vivo operating room training with fewer undesirable effects to the patient. With the explosion of laparoscopic technology this transanal technique is no longer limited to intraluminal pathology, but is now being used to remove the entire rectum. In transanal total mesorectal excision (taTME), benign indications are less common, translating to potentially more severe oncologic patient consequences during the early phase of adoption. For this reason, strict training criteria consensus guidelines have been developed by the experts in taTME. The current consensus statements agree that training surgeons should have performed a minimum of 10 laparoscopic TME procedures and should have some experience with transanal surgery. Surgeons need to attend a formal training course and should start clinically on benign or early malignant pathology without threated circumferential resection margins. Surgeons also need to have their first cases proctored until deemed proficient by the proctor and monitor their morbidity, oncologic, and functional outcomes prospectively.

Publication History

Article published online:
29 March 2021

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