Analysis of Early and Long-Term Oncologic Outcomes After Converted Laparoscopic Resection Compared to Primary Open Surgery for Rectal Cancer
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Laparoscopic rectal resection (LRR) for cancer is a challenging procedure, with conversion to open surgery being reported in up to 30% of cases. Since only a few studies with short follow-up have compared converted LRR and open RR (ORR), it is unclear if conversion to open surgery should be prevented by preferring an open approach in those patients with preoperatively known risk factors for conversion. The aim of this study was to compare early postoperative outcomes and long-term survival after completed LRR, converted LRR or ORR for non-metastatic rectal cancer.
A prospective database of consecutive curative LRRs and ORRs for rectal cancer was reviewed. Patients undergoing LRR who required conversion (CONV group) were compared with those who had primary open rectal surgery (OPEN group) and completed LRR (LAP group). A multivariate analysis was performed to identify predictors of poor survival.
A total of 537 patients were included in the study: 272 in the LAP group, 49 in the CONV group and 216 in the OPEN group. There were no significant differences in perioperative morbidity, mortality and length of hospital stay between the three groups. Five-year overall survival and disease-free survival rates did not significantly differ between LAP, CONV and OPEN patients: 83.9 versus 77.8 versus 81% (P = 0.398) and 74.5 versus 62.9 versus 72.7% (P = 0.145), respectively. Similar 5-year OS and DFS rates were observed between patients who had converted LRR for locally advanced tumor or for non-tumor-related reasons: 81.2 versus 80.8% (P = 0.839) and 62.5 versus 63.7% (P = 0.970), respectively. Poor grade of tumor differentiation, lymphovascular invasion and a lymph node ratio of 0.25 or greater, but not conversion, were independently associated with poorer survival.
Conversion to open surgery does not impair short-term outcomes and does not jeopardize 5-year survival in patients with rectal cancer when compared to primary open surgery.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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