Use of Image-Guided Surgical Navigation during Resection of Locally Recurrent Rectal Cancer

Harald C. Groen*, Anne G. Den Hartog, Wouter J. Heerink, Koert F.D. Kuhlmann, Niels F.M. Kok, Ruben van Veen, Marijn A.J. Hiep, Pétur Snæbjörnsson, Brechtje A. Grotenhuis, Geerard L. Beets, Arend G.J. Aalbers, Theo J.M. Ruers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Surgery for locally recurrent rectal cancer (LRRC) presents several challenges, which is why the percentage of inadequate resections of these tumors is high. In this exploratory study, we evaluate the use of image-guided surgical navigation during resection of LRRC. Patients who were scheduled to undergo surgical resection of LRRC who were deemed by the multidisciplinary team to be at a high risk of inadequate tumor resection were selected to undergo surgical navigation. The risk of inadequate surgery was further determined by the proximity of the tumor to critical anatomical structures. Workflow characteristics of the surgical navigation procedure were evaluated, while the surgical outcome was determined by the status of the resection margin. In total, 20 patients were analyzed. For all procedures, surgical navigation was completed successfully and demonstrated to be accurate, while no complications related to the surgical navigation were discerned. Radical resection was achieved in 14 cases (70%). In five cases (25%), a tumor-positive resection margin (R1) was anticipated during surgery, as extensive radical resection was determined to be compromised. These patients all received intraoperative brachytherapy. In one case (5%), an unexpected R1 resection was performed. Surgical navigation during resection of LRRC is thus safe and feasible and enables accurate surgical guidance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number645
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by a grant from “KWF-De Vriendenloterij” (NKI2016-8162).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Other keywords

  • image-guided surgical navigation
  • locally recurrent rectal cancer


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