An APR surgery (Abdominoperineal Resection) is a that removes the anus, rectum and sigmoid colon. This procedure is often used to treat rectal cancer that lies very low in the rectum.
An APR is usually followed by radiation with or without chemotherapy. Your doctor will talk to you about how this might help you and how long you’ll need to stay in hospital.
What is an APR?
An annual percentage rate (APR) is a term you’ll come across when shopping for credit cards, mortgages or other financial products. It’s a useful tool to compare offers and find the best deal for your situation.
APR includes the interest that you’ll pay on the loan, plus any related fees a lender may charge. This is a more accurate representation of the total cost of borrowing than an interest rate, which only takes into account interest.
It can also be influenced by your credit score, so it’s important to work on improving it before you take out a loan or credit card if you can afford to.
APRs can change based on an index, such as the Wall Street Journal’s prime rate, or they can remain fixed. Generally, fixed APRs will be more predictable and less likely to fluctuate during the life of the loan, so they’re typically used for mortgages and personal loans.
What is the surgery like?
Abdominoperineal resection (APR) is the operation of choice for rectal specialists when a cancer is close to the anus. Developed more than 100 years ago, it remains an important treatment for some patients despite advances in sphincter-sparing procedures.
An APR surgery removes the rectum, anus and part of the sigmoid colon, along with associated lymph nodes. This surgery can be done as open surgery or keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery.
After the APR surgery, a permanent stoma (colostomy) is made from one of the surgical cuts. This means stools will pass out of your tummy into a pouch (colostomy bag).
If you have an APR, you will usually stay in hospital for several days. The length of time you are in hospital will depend on the way the surgery was done and your overall health.
Your hospital will give you lots of information about how to look after your stoma and what to do to keep it healthy. You may also be given some medicines to prevent blood clots.
What happens after the surgery?
Abdominoperineal resection (APR) is the standard surgery used to remove rectal cancer that lies close to the anus. This surgery completely removes the distal colon and rectum and the anal sphincter (circular muscle that controls defecation).
A permanent stoma (colostomy) is created after an APR. This stoma is covered with a pouch that collects your gas and stool as it leaves your body. A wound, ostomy, continence (WOC) nurse will teach you how to use your stoma and change the pouch when it needs to be changed.
Your bowel will take some time to start working again after the surgery. You’ll be given painkillers and anti-sickness medication to help you feel better.
You’ll also need to drink a lot of clear liquids, such as water and fruit juice. Your nurse will show you how much to drink and give you a guideline to follow. They’ll also let you know when you can eat again. This may take about 4 or 5 days.
What happens if the cancer comes back?
The truth is, there’s no guarantee the cancer won’t come back. Having said that, some patients may be lucky enough to get a clean bill of health. Keeping your doctor abreast of what is going on in your life may be one way to keep you on the straight and narrow. Alternatively, there are plenty of online tools and resources available to help you through this difficult time. The key is to find the best fit for you and your family. A little snooping around may uncover some great treatment options for you.