Do prior abdominal operations alter the outcome of laparoscopically assisted right hemicolectomy?
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Background: Adhesions can increase the difficulty of both laparoscopic surgery and laparotomy. The aim of this study was to compare the results of laparoscopically assisted right hemicolectomy in patients after prior abdominal operations (PAOs) with the results in patients without prior abdominal operations (NPAOs).
Methods: Between August 1991 and September 1998, 85 patients underwent laparoscopically assisted right hemicolectomy. The Mann-Whitney test or Fisher's exact test was used for statistical analysis.
Results: In this study, 36 patients (21 women and 15 men), with an average age of 57.5 years (range, 15–87 years) had undergone a mean of 1.25 (range, 1 to 3) PAOs, whereas 49 patients (20 women and 29 men), with an average age of 60.0 years (range, 16 to 87 years) (p= 0.44) had undergone NPAOs. Overall in the PAO and NPAO groups, respectively, there were no significant differences in the incidence of intraoperative complications (3 versus 4 ; p= 1.0). The mean operative time was 151 min (range, 90 to 260 min) versus 148 min (range, 70 to 270 min) (p= 0.66), and the mean length of stay was 6.8 days (range, 3 to 18 days) versus 7.6 days (range, 3 to 19 days) (p= 0.13). The procedure was converted to laparotomy (p= 0.754) for six patients in the PAO group (5 because of adhesions) and 6 patients in the NPAO-group (1 because of adhesions; p= 0.078). In the PAO group 17 patients (47%) had 22 postoperative complications: 11 general medical and 4 wound-related complications. Seven patients (19%) had prolonged postoperative ileus. In the NPAO-group 18 patients (38%) had a total of 22 complications: 7 general medical problems, 6 wound-related complications, and 8 prolonged postoperative ileus, none of which were statistically significant. One patient in the NPAO group had an anastomotic leak. During a mean follow-up period of 41 months (range, 3 to 89 months), three patients in the PAO group and four in the NPAO group developed incisional hernias.
Conclusions: Although there is a trend toward more conversions because of adhesions in patients with a history of prior abdominal operations (p= 0.078), no increase in morbidity resulted. Therefore, laparoscopically assisted right hemicolectomy can be offered to patients with PAO, whose rate of adhesions can be expected to equal that of patients with NPAO.
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