Safety and factors contributing to the difficulty of laparoscopic surgery for rectal cancer treated with preoperative chemoradiotherapy
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The safety of laparoscopic surgery for rectal cancer following chemoradiotherapy (CRT) has not been fully established. The aim of our retrospective study was to examine the outcomes and the factors contributing to the difficulty of laparoscopic surgery after CRT.
Eighty-seven consecutive rectal cancer patients treated with CRT were analyzed. Clinicopathological factors were compared between laparoscopic surgery (n = 57) and open surgery (n = 30) groups, and factors that correlated with operation time and blood loss were analyzed in low anterior resection (LAR) cases in the laparoscopic surgery group (n = 46).
There was less blood loss in the laparoscopic surgery group than in the open surgery group (191 vs. 1,043 ml, p = 0.0001), and the operation time in the two groups was similar (329 vs. 322 min, p = 0.8). The rate of conversion from laparoscopic surgery to open surgery was 1.8 %. There was no significant difference in the morbidity rate (laparoscopic surgery 22.8 % vs. open surgery 33.3 %, p = 0.3). All circumferential resection margins were clear. Three-year cumulative rates of local recurrence were as follows: laparoscopic surgery: 1.9 % vs. open surgery: 8.4 % (p = 0.4), and distant recurrence was 28.5 % in laparoscopic surgery vs. 22.7 % in open surgery (p = 0.8) and these rates were not significantly different. In laparoscopic LAR cases, a shorter distance of the tumor from the anal verge was associated with a longer operation time. A high computed tomography Hounsfield units value of the mesorectum (CTV) was associated with increased blood loss in the first 23 cases, but not in the other 23 cases.
Laparoscopic surgery following CRT was safe and feasible. A shorter anal verge was associated with a longer operation time. Blood loss increased in cases with high CTV, but this can likely be mitigated by experience.
KeywordsRectal cancer Chemoradiotherapy Laparoscopic surgery Neoadjuvant therapy
Conflict of interest
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