What is the role of laparoscopic surgery in the treatment of colon cancer?

Updated: Apr 15, 2020
  • Author: Tomislav Dragovich, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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The advent of laparoscopy has revolutionized the surgical approach to colonic resections for cancers. Large prospective randomized trials have found no significant differences between open and laparoscopic colectomy with regard to intraoperative or postoperative complications, perioperative mortality rates, readmission or reoperation rates, or rate of surgical wound recurrence. Oncologic outcomes (cause-specific survival, disease recurrence, number of lymph nodes harvested) are likewise comparable. [77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82]

For example, the Clinical Outcomes of Surgical Therapy Study Group trial found no significant differences between laparoscopic-assisted colectomy (LAC) or open colectomy in terms of 5-year disease-free survival rate (69% versus 68% in the LAC and open colectomy groups, respectively) or overall survival (76% versus 75%). [78] In a study by Lacy et al with median followup of 95 months, LAC was more effective than open colectomy, although the tendency toward higher cancer-related and overall survival did not reach statistical significance. [81]

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