Laparoscopic vs open hemicolectomy for colon cancer
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The role of laparoscopic resection in the management of colon cancer is still a subject of debate. In this clinical study, we compared the perioperative results and long-term outcome for two unselected groups of patients undergoing either laparoscopic or open hemicolectomy for colon cancer.
This prospective nonrandomized study was based on a series of 248 consecutive patients operated on by the same surgical team using the same type of surgical technique for right (RHC) and left (LHC) hemicolectomy, excluding segmental resections; the only difference was the type of access, which was either laparoscopic or open. The choice of type of access was left up to the patient after he or she had read the informed consent form. Operative time, length of stay, complications, and long-term outcome for the two groups were compared. Follow-up time ranged between 12 and 92 months (mean, 42).
Between March 1992 and January 2000, 140 patients underwent a laparoscopic hemicolectomy (55 RHC and 86 LHC); at the same time, 107 patients (44 RHC and 63 LHC) were treated via an open approach. There were no conversions to open surgery in the laparoscopic RHC group, but six patients (7%) in the laparoscopic LHC group were converted. The mean operative time for laparoscopic surgery was significantly longer than the time for open surgery (190 vs 140 min for RHC, 240 vs 190 min for LHC); however, with increasing experience, this time decreased significantly. The mean hospital stay for the patients who underwent laparoscopic procedures was significantly shorter in both the RHC and the LHC groups (9.2 vs 13.2 days for RHC, 10.0 vs 13.2 days for LHC). No statistically significant difference between the two laparoscopic and open groups was observed for the major complication rate (1.9% vs 2.3% for RHC, 7.5% vs 6.3% for LHC). The patient in the laparoscopic RHC group were lost to follow-up. The local recurrence rate was lower after laparoscopic surgery in both arms (5.4% vs 9% for RHC, 1.5% vs 7.5% for LHC), but the differences were not statistically significant. Two port site recurrences were observed in the laparoscopic groups, one after RHC (2.7%) and one after LHC (1.5%). Metachronous metastases rates were similar for the two groups (16.2% vs 15.1% for RHC, 4.4% vs 5.7% for LHC). Cumulative survival probability at 48 months after laparoscopic RHC was 0.865, as compared to 0.818 after open surgery, and 0.971 after laparoscopic LHC, as compared to 0.887 after open surgery.
These results suggest that laparoscopic hemicolectomy for colonic cancer can be performed safely, with morbidity, mortality, and long-term results comparable to those of open surgery.
Key wordsColon cancer Hemicolectomy Laparoscopic colonic resection Port site recurrence Cancer
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