Rectal cancer has become the second most common gastrointestinal tumor in our country. With the development of comprehensive treatment, the long-term survival rate of patients with rectal cancer has greatly increased, meanwhile, higher postoperative quality of life is required. But the genitourinary dysfunction which is mainly caused by intraoperative pelvic autonomic nerve damage haunts postoperative rectal cancer patients. Traditional pelvic autonomic nerve protection technology born in the 1980s only improves urogenital function in a part of postoperative patients. In recent years, NOME(nerve-oriented mesorectal excision) was proposed, which needed to make pelvic autonomic never exposed. However, recovery of urinary function is not ideal due to difficulty identifying pelvic autonomic nerve and unavoidable damage on pelvic autonomic nerve. In clinical practice, we found that pelvic autonomic nerve can be divided into three parts: abdominal cavity, large pelvis, small pelvis. The pelvic autonomic nerve is closely related to the surrounding fascias in each part. The fascias are not only the protection of pelvic autonomic nerve, but also can be used as a good indicator of location of pelvic autonomic nerve. The relationship of pelvic autonomic nerve with Toldt fascia, presacral fascia, the lateral rectal ligaments, and the Denonvilliers fascia is discussed in this paper. Combined with the above theory, a new technology named FOPANP (fascia-orientation of pelvic autonomic nerve preservation) is proposed. In this technique, the fascia around the rectum is used as a guidance to select the appropriate plane in the operation, and the tumor can be removed without exposing the pelvic autonomic nerve. This technology has three advantages. First, it is not necessary to search and expose the pelvic autonomic nerve, so as to avoid secondary injury to it during the operation. Secondly, the pelvic fascias are natural barriers formed between the surgical plane and the pelvic autonomic nerve retained. They can avoid the stimulation of physical and chemical factors to pelvic autonomic nerve. Thirdly, because the fascias are easier to identify, and the texture is more tough, so the technology is easier to master.