, Volume 35, Issue 8, pp 1904-1910
Date: 11 May 2011

Prospective, Controlled, Randomized Study of Intraoperative Colonic Lavage Versus Stent Placement in Obstructive Left-sided Colonic Cancer

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The main aim of this study was to compare short-term results and long-term outcomes of patients who underwent intraoperative colonic lavage (IOCL) with primary anastomosis with those who had stent placement prior to scheduled surgery for obstructive left-sided colonic cancer (OLCC).


We conducted a prospective, controlled, randomized study of patients diagnosed with OLCC. Patients were divided into two groups: stent and deferred surgery (group 1) and emergency IOCL (group 2). Demographic variables, risk prediction models, postoperative morbidity and mortality, staging, complications due to stent placement, surgical time, clinical follow-up, health costs, and follow-up of survival were recorded.


Twenty-eight patients (15 group 1 and 13 group 1) were enrolled. The study was suspended upon detecting excess morbidity in group 2. The two groups were homogeneous in clinical and demographic terms. Overall morbidity in group 1 was 2/15 (13.3%) compared with 7/13 (53.8%) in group 2 (p = 0.042). None of the 15 patients in group 1 presented anastomotic dehiscence compared with 4/13 (30.7%) in group 2 (p = 0.035). Surgical site infection was detected in 2 (13.3%) patients in group 1 and in 6 (46.1%) in group 2 (p = 0.096). Postoperative stay was 8 days (IQR 3, group 1) and 10 days (IQR 10, group 2) (p = 0.05). The mean follow-up period was 37.6 months (SD = 16.08) with no differences in survival between the groups.


In our setting, the use of a stent and scheduled surgery is safer than IOCL and is associated with lower morbidity, shorter hospital stay, and equally good long-term survival.

The preliminary results of this study were presented at the 11th National Meeting of the Spanish Association of Coloproctology, San Sebastian, Spain, May 9-11, 2007, and the Sixth Congress of the Catalonian Association of Surgery, Barcelona, Spain, October 15-16, 2007.