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Transsphincteric Surgery of the Rectum

Arch Surg. 1984;119(11):1353. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1984.01390230115034.
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This is the kind of book that European authors, illustrators, and publishers do so well. It is a well-aimed, small, beautifully illustrated monograph dedicated to describing an operative technique for small malignant or benign lesions lying 4 to 12 cm from the anal verge in the rectum. These are lesions that are seen infrequently by most of us and, therefore, their management is not totally familiar. The three authors from Basel, Switzerland, attack the problem in the classic manner. Six pages define the problem and the terms that are used. Three pages are of beautifully clear anatomic diagrams, followed by 18 profusely illustrated pages on the operative technique. With the patient in the face-down position (which they repeatedly remind us is called the Heidelberg position), they split the entire musculature of the pelvis along anatomic lines so that they expose the rectum, open it as needed, and when they are


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