Fluorescence in Colorectal Surgery

  • António S. Soares
  • Manish ChandEmail author


Fluorescence-guided surgery represents an evolution in the intraoperative assessment of physiology and anatomy during precision surgery. Fluorophores with known light excitation and emission profiles are used to specifically target tissues or pharmacological processes. These photophysical properties can be harnessed to improve tissue penetration compared with visible light. There is a growing body of evidence on the clinical effectiveness of fluorescence-guided surgery in several domains ranging from benign to neoplastic disease across multiple disciplines.

Currently, the main application in colorectal surgery is assessment of bowel perfusion in order to reduce the rate of anastomotic leaks. Initial reports have shown such assessment to be safe and potentially lead to a lowering of the incidence. However, applications in lymphatic mapping, ureter identification and peritoneal metastases identification are active fields of clinical innovation where fluorescence may have further utility.

Future directions are the development of targeted fluorophores and the improvement in the regulatory process involved in taking fluorophores from the bench to the bedside.


Fluorescence angiography Colorectal cancer Lymphatic mapping 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Surgery and Interventional SciencesUniversity College HospitalLondonUK

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