Département de chirurgie carcinologique, Institut Gustave-Roussy, 39, rue Camille-Desmoulins, 94805 Villejuif Cedex
The standard treatment of epidermoid carcinoma of the anal canal consists of radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy. The recommended salvage treatment for local failures relies on abdominoperineal resection and permits a 5-year overall survival rate around 50%. However, the morbidity associated with this surgery is important with regard to delayed perineal wound healing. New techniques for perineal reconstruction offer interesting solutions to limit this morbidity. Musculocutaneous flaps permit to fill the perineal wound left after the resection and in some cases to reconstruct the posterior vaginal wall. Although less popular, the construction of a pseudocontinent perineal colostomy enables some patients to avoid a permanent iliac colostomy. The surgical excision of metastatic inguinal nodes, followed by radiotherapy, is an alternative to radiotherapy alone. Surgery can also be performed after failure of radiotherapy, at the cost of an increased morbidity.