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 Total mesorectal excision, that is, the removal of the rectum and surrounding fat and lymph nodes, is the standard treatment for rectal cancer - an effective approach that can be performed by laparotomy (open surgery), laparoscopy or robot-assisted surgery. The problem with this approach is "the lack of clear vision of the most distal part of the rectum, which makes complete resection of the tumor difficult", explains Dr. Oscar Alonso, a specialist in gastrointestinal surgical oncology at MD Anderson Madrid. Therefore, the closer the tumor is to the anus, the more difficult it is to see and more likely the resection is to be incomplete and with tumor recurrence.