Dr Breukink and colleagues from the Netherlands investigated how the quality of life of patients with rectal cancer changes with time after laparoscopic total mesorectal excision.
Patients completed the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire.
In addition, the patients completed a colorectal-specific European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life questionnaire.
The questionnaires were completed before laparoscopic total mesorectal excision.
|Global quality of life and symptoms such as fatigue improved at 1 year|
|Diseases of the Colon & Rectum|
The patients also completed a questionnaire on discharge from the hospital and at 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively.
Patients were treated by laparoscopic low anterior resection or laparoscopic abdominoperineal resection.
The researchers reported that 51 patients participated in this study.
Of these, 38 underwent laparoscopic low anterior resection and 13 had laparoscopic abdominoperineal resection.
The research team compared these with preoperative scores on the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36.
The researchers found that patients reported a deterioration in physical functioning, and improved mental functioning at 3 months.
The team identified improvement in emotional well-being on the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36.
The patients reported emotional well-being on the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire.
The researchers found that at 1 year, improvements in global quality of life and symptoms, such as fatigue, pain, and appetite loss were reported.
Sexual functioning was worse from 3 months onward until 1 year after surgery.
The research team observed that patients who underwent low anterior resection experienced less sexual dysfunction than after abdominoperineal resection.
Dr Breukink's team concludes, “At 1 year after laparoscopic total mesorectal excision for rectal cancer, patients reported improvement in some important quality of life outcomes.”
“These improvements included global quality of life, despite a decrease in sexual functioning.”