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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2008 October;63(5):373-83

language: English

Hand-assisted laparoscopic colorectal surgery: an evidence-based review

Martel G. 1, Boushey R. P. 1, Marcello P. W. 2

1 Division of General Surgery Colon and Rectal Surgery Unit The Ottawa Hospital University of Ottawa, ON, Canada
2 Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA, USA


Despite its increasing use by practitioners, laparoscopic colorectal surgery remains technically challenging. Hand-assisted laparoscopic colorectal surgery may represent a viable hybrid alternative approach to standard laparoscopy. Although few high-quality studies have been carried out, hand-assistance appears to reduce operative time when compared to straight laparoscopy for both left-sided segmental colonic and total colorectal resections. Moreover, hand-assistance appears to maintain the short-term benefits of laparoscopy, while affording the surgeon with the ability to carry out complex cases in a minimally invasive fashion. Data pertaining to the use of hand-assistance for rectal cancer surgery are currently lacking. One the whole, hand-assisted laparoscopic colorectal surgery appears to be a useful tool for the minimally invasive surgeon, one that is perhaps best thought of as an adjunct to simple laparoscopy.

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