Essential anatomy of the anorectum for colorectal surgeons focused on the gross anatomy and histologic findings

Jong Min Lee, Nam Kyu Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The anorectum is a region with a very complex structure, and surgery for benign or malignant disease of the anorectum is impossible without accurate anatomical knowledge. The conjoined longitudinal muscle consists of smooth muscle from the longitudinal muscle of the rectum and the striate muscle from the levator ani and helps maintain continence; the rectourethralis muscle is connected directly to the conjoined longitudinal muscle at the top of the external anal sphincter. Preserving the rectourethralis muscle without damage to the carvernous nerve or veins passing through it when the abdominoperineal resection is implemented is important. The mesorectal fascia is a multi-layered membrane that surrounds the mesorectum. Because the autonomic nerves also pass between the mesorectal fascia and the parietal fascia, a sharp pelvic dissection must be made along the anatomic fascial plane. With the development of pelvic structure anatomy, we can understand better how we can remove the tumor and the surrounding metastatic lymph nodes without damaging the neural structure. However, because the anorectal anatomy is not yet fully understood, we hope that additional studies of anatomy will enable anorectal surgery to be performed based on complete anatomical knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-71
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Coloproctology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Korean Society of Coloproctology.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gastroenterology


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