Attention to nerve identification in rectal cancer surgery began in Japan in the 1970s, but it was an American surgeon [1, 2] between the 1970s and 1980s who proposed a combination of the nerve-sparing principle with the TME technique. The result was the preservation of urogenital function in 90% of the patients treated, without affecting the oncological outcome. Subsequently, the effectiveness, implementation and safety of the technique were confirmed by Moriya’s group , and the long-term functional results were documented by the famous Dutch TME trial.
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