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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2011 December;66(6):589-601


language: English

Current laparoscopic management of inflammatory bowel disease

Zoccali M. 1, 2, Fichera A. 1

1 Department of Surgery, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA; 2 First General Surgery Unit, Department of Surgery, Catholic University, Rome, Italy


Since the introduction of laparoscopic surgery in the management of colorectal disease in the early ‘90s, minimally invasive techniques have gained popularity. While good quality studies have been published in the literature on laparoscopy for colorectal cancer, evidence supporting the use of minimally invasive surgery for inflammatory bowel disease is lacking. This patient population represents a challenge to the colorectal surgeon even in conventional open surgery and this has limited the widespread application of minimally invasive techniques especially in Crohn’s disease. Laparoscopic ileocecal resection for Crohn’s disease is the most performed minimally invasive procedure in the field of inflammatory bowel disease, with promising short-term outcomes but with still some concerns related to prolonged operative times and overall costs. For ulcerative colitis the magnitude of restorative procedures has also restricted the use of minimally invasive approaches to highly specialized tertiary referral centers. The benefits of performing restorative procedures laparoscopically for ulcerative colitis are less obvious based on the limited reports available in the literature with adequate follow-up for assessing long-term outcomes, and controversies still remains about the need for a staged approach in the era of biologic therapy. Nevertheless, surgeons are actively working in an effort to obviate to the current technical limitations of laparoscopy, and to further minimize surgical trauma. In this manuscript we will present the current evidence supporting the use of laparoscopy and minimally invasive techniques in inflammatory bowel disease and present the future direction of development and research.

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afichera@surgery. bsd. uchicago. edu