Is obesity a high-risk factor for laparoscopic colorectal surgery?
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The aim of this study was to assess the outcome of laparoscopic colorectal surgery in obese patients and compare it to that of a nonobese group of patients who underwent similar procedures.
All 162 consecutive patients who underwent an elective laparoscopic or laparoscopic-assisted segmental colorectal resection between August 1991 and December 1997 were evaluated. Body mass index (BMI; kg/m2) was used as an objective index to indicate massive obesity. The parameters analyzed included BMI, age, gender, comorbid conditions, diagnosis, procedure, American Society of Anesthesiologists classification score, operative time, estimated blood loss, transfusion requirements, intraoperative complications, conversion to laparotomy, postoperative complications, length of hospitalization, and mortality.
Thirty-one patients (19.1%) were obese (23 males and 8 females). Conversion rates were significantly increased in the obese group (39 vs 13.5%, p=0.01), with an overall conversion rate of 18%. The postoperative complication rate in the obese group was 78% vs 24% in the nonobese group (p<0.01). Specifically, rates of ileus and wound infections were significantly higher in the obese group [32.3 vs 7.6% (p<0.01) and 12.9 vs 3.1%. (p=0.03), respectively]. Furthermore, hospital stay in the obese group was longer (9.5 days) than in the nonobese group (6.9 days, p=0.02).
Laparoscopic colorectal segmental resections are feasible in obese patients. However, increased rates of conversion to laparotomy should be anticipated and the risk of postoperative complications is significantly increased, prolonging the length of hospitalization when compared to that of nonobese patients.
Key wordsLaparoscopy Laparoscopic surgery Colorectal surgery Obesity Colectomy
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