Laparoscopic low anterior resection for rectal cancer wherei
Few cases have been reported of colorectal cancer with inferior mesenteric artery (IMA) branching abnormalities; therefore, the lymphatic flow in such cases remains unknown. We report the first case of locally advanced rectal cancer in which the IMA arose from the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) in which we achieved to visualize the lymphatic flow.

A 65-year-old woman complaining of bloody stools was investigated in our hospital and suspected with rectal cancer. Colonoscopy and abdominal enhanced computed tomography (CT) revealed a circumscribed, localized ulcerative tumor in the rectum. 3-Dimensional contrast-enhanced computed tomography (3D-CT) showed that the IMA arose from the SMA. The patient was diagnosed with rectal cancer (cT3N0M0, cStage IIa) and laparoscopic low anterior resection was performed. The sigmoid colon was resected using the medial approach. Only the plexus of the colic branch of the lumbar splanchnic nerve was observed at the site where the root of the IMA usually exists and showed interruption of the indocyanine green (ICG) fluorescence-illuminated lymphatics. The root of the IMA was ligated, and Japanese D3 lymphadenectomy was performed, preserving the accessory middle colic artery. All fluorescent lymph nodes were resected. The pathological diagnosis was pT4aN1aM0 stage IIIb. The patient’s postoperative course was uneventful. Adjuvant chemotherapy was administered, and the patient was recurrence-free at 1.5 years after surgery.