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Minerva Chirurgica 2002 October;57(5):607-24

language: Italian

Video-assisted surgery in oncology. From diagnostic applications to therapeutic possibilities

Russo A.


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The growing use of laparoscopic techniques in general surgery over the last decade has also involved the oncological sector where it is not only used for diagnostic purposes but also for therapeutic procedures, unfortunately in the latter instance, with controversial results owing to its indiscriminate use. Where there are no contraindications, the mini-invasive approach has undoubtedly become the gold standard for the treatment of benign pathologies, such as biliary lithiasis or gastroesophageal reflux. However, video-assisted surgery is not yet sufficiently radical, and in some cases lacks the feasibility to legitimate its unqualified use in oncological practice as a valid alternative to open surgery. In the case of malignant tumours its role is hampered by major drawbacks which restrict its use to carefully selected patients. The persistent lack of randomised clinical trials in many cases still exposes the comparison between traditional laparotomy and mini-invasive procedures open to the risk of subjective opinion, unless backed up by immediate clinical evidence. It is certainly a very exciting field of surgery and this review aims to offer an extremely concise panorama of the application of these methods to oncological pathologies affecting individual organs.

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