Surgical Endoscopy

, 23:2314 | Cite as

Impact of incision length on the short-term outcomes of laparoscopic colorectal surgery

  • Alexandre Bouchard
  • Guillaume Martel
  • Elham Sabri
  • Éric C. Poulin
  • Joseph Mamazza
  • Robin P. BousheyEmail author



The recent introduction of hand-assist devices in laparoscopic colorectal surgery has renewed interest in the influence of incision length. This study aimed to define the impact of extraction incision length on the postoperative outcomes of laparoscopic left-sided colon and rectal resections.


Consecutive patients undergoing laparoscopic left-sided colorectal resection from 1991 to 2007 were retrieved from a prospectively collected database. The association between incision length and patient characteristics, diagnosis, and perioperative outcomes were analyzed using logistic regression, Spearman correlation, Wilcoxon test, and chi-square test.


A total of 494 laparoscopic colorectal resections (left, sigmoid, anterior, and low anterior resections) were retrieved. Patients with conversions to open surgery (n = 59) and missing data (n = 53) were excluded. As a result, 382 cases were included in the study. A slight majority of the patients had malignant disease (n = 202, 53%). The median incision length was 5 cm (interquartile range, 4–6 cm). Increasing weight was positively correlated with incision length (p = 0.0001). Male patients had modestly larger mean incisions than female patients (5.5 vs. 5.0 cm; p = 0.0075). Age, previous surgery, diagnosis, days to resumption of normal diet, and days to discharge from hospital showed no significant relationship with incision length. No association was observed between the incision length and intraoperative or postoperative complications.


Patients undergoing laparoscopic colorectal surgery appear to achieve the same perioperative outcomes irrespective of their extraction incision lengths. To maintain the short-term benefits of laparoscopy, surgeons should consider pursuing a minimally invasive technique, even when a larger extraction incision will ultimately be required.


Incision length Laparoscopic colorectal surgery Postoperative outcome 



The Minimally Invasive Surgery Research Group at the Ottawa Hospital is supported by unrestricted educational grants from Covidien Canada and Storz Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandre Bouchard
    • 1
  • Guillaume Martel
    • 1
  • Elham Sabri
    • 1
  • Éric C. Poulin
    • 1
  • Joseph Mamazza
    • 1
  • Robin P. Boushey
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Minimally Invasive Surgery Research Group, Division of General SurgeryThe Ottawa Hospital, University of OttawaOttawa Canada

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