Previous abdominal operations do not affect the outcomes of laparoscopic colorectal surgery

  • W. L. LawEmail author
  • Y. M. Lee
  • K. W. Chu
Original article



Previous abdominal surgery has been regarded as a relative contraindication for laparoscopic surgery. However, studies on laparoscopic cholecystectomy have showed that the presence of prior abdominal procedures does not affect the outcomes of surgery. This study aimed to investigate the impact of previous abdominal surgery on laparoscopic colorectal surgery.


This study enrolled 295 consecutive patients who underwent laparoscopic colorectal surgery from May 2000 to May 2003. The patients were divided into two groups: those with previous abdominal surgery (n = 84) and those without a prior operation (n = 211). The outcomes of surgery for the two groups were compared with respect to the duration of surgery, blood loss, conversion rate, time to return of bowel function, resumption of diet, complications, and the hospital stay.


The study included 158 men and 137 women. The median age of the patients was 70 years (range, 33-91 years). Significantly more female patients and patients with benign diseases had prior abdominal surgery. Conversion was required for 17.8% of the patients with and 11.4% of the patients without previous surgery (p = 0.181). There were no differences in the operating time or blood loss between the two groups. The time to bowel movement and resumption of diet were similar in the two groups. The median hospital stay was 7 days for both groups. Of the 39 conversions, 28.2% were necessitated mainly by the presence of adhesions. In the patients who underwent conversion because of adhesions (n = 11), nine had prior surgery and two did not (p = 0.001).


The presence of prior surgery does not affect the operating time or blood loss of patients undergoing laparoscopic colorectal surgery. The conversion rate is not increased for patients with prior surgery. The postoperative outcomes in terms of ileus, complication rate, and hospital stay are not worse for patients with prior surgery. Previous abdominal surgery should not be considered as a contraindication for laparoscopic colorectal surgery.


Laparoscopic colorectal surgery Prior surgery 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Hong Kong Medical Centre, Queen Mary HospitalHong Kong

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