Laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgery - a prospective study of short-term outcomes of consecutive cases over 3 years
This study was carried out with the objectives to study the feasibility of laparoscopic colorectal cancer resection, to observe short term outcome such as recovery parameters, oncologic safety, morbidity and mortality, and to analyze the experience of laparoscopic colorectal surgery in a teaching hospital. Between January 2007 and July 2009, all consecutive adult cases admitted to our department for colorectal cancer were assessed for eligibility. The ethical committee approved the protocol at the Sterling Hospital. Out of 31 patients,17 were males and 14 females. The mean age was 59 years. The most common clinical presentation was weight loss and altered bowel habits. Rectum (51.61%) was the most commonly involved organ followed by cecum (22.58%). - median time to liquid diet was two days (range 1-22), and a solid diet was three days (range 3-30). The median time to first flatus was two days (range 1-5), and the first stool was five days (range 3-7). The postoperative stay was eight days (range 6-30) median time to mobilization was 2.5 days. The postoperative stay is cumulative and includes patients who underwent reoperation for the anastomotic leak. The median operating time was 240 mins (range 116 – 520). The median length of incision was 6 cm (range 4 – 10 cm). The median blood loss was 170 ml. Blood loss was higher in patients with hemorrhage and tumor adhesions, and both of them were converted to open. These patients incidentally had a more extended hospital stay. The laparoscopic technique for colorectal cancer is feasible and safe. Laparoscopic colorectal surgery (LCS) is associated with short term benefits like the earlier return of gastrointestinal function and shorter length of hospital stay. From the oncologic point of view, tumor resections are adequate, taking into context numbers of lymph nodes retrieved and resectional margins in context to oncologic safety. The decreased postoperative wound infections and early recovery facilitate appropriate adjuvant therapy. Advanced laparoscopic surgery requires a team approach with proper case selection. Transvaginal delivery of specimens can give scar-less surgery and the option for assisted natural orifice surgery.