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A Journal on Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Dietetics

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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2012 September;58(3):201-11

language: English

Minimally invasive colorectal surgery

Marks J. H., Nassif Do G. J., Frenkel J. L.

Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Lankenau Medical Center, Wynnewood, PA, USA


Adoption of laparoscopic colorectal surgery has been slow. In the United States, of approximately 250,000 colectomies each year, only 5% to 15% of these cases are being done laparoscopically. Laparoscopic colorectal surgery can be performed successfully on patients for both benign and malignant conditions in any anatomic location of the colon and rectum. The COST trial definitively established that laparoscopic colon surgery for cancer had similar rates of local recurrence and survival compared to open surgery, with better short-term outcomes. It demonstrated that laparoscopic resections resulted in shorter hospital stays, decreased IV narcotics and oral analgesics, and improved quality of life within two weeks of surgery. In the authors’ clinical experience of more than 1500 laparoscopic surgeries, patients who undergo laparoscopic colorectal surgery experience decreased rates of wound infection, hernia, and bowel obstruction. One of the challenges of laparoscopic colorectal surgery is standardizing these complex, minimally invasive procedures in the operating room. With standard techniques, one can create optimal outcomes for patients, minimizing perioperative complications and maximizing oncologic results. This paper describes a sequenced step approach for each procedure to facilitate this. Left colectomy follows a nine-step process, and right colectomy follows a four-step process. Both of these procedures are described in detail. The newest horizon in minimally invasive surgery is single incision surgery, which allows for colorectal resections through a single 2.5 cm incision, producing an excellent cosmetic result. Based on this chapter, we advocate the laparoscopic approach be used as the primary method for colorectal surgery.

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