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Is Laparoscopic Colon Surgery Appropriate in Patients Who Have Had Previous Abdominal Surgery?

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Laparoscopic techniques in colon surgery reduce postoperative pain, length of hospital stay, and 30-day morbidity when compared with open surgery. The objective of this study was to determine the feasibility of a laparoscopic colectomy in patients who have previously undergone abdominal surgery. We performed a retrospective, single-institution review of laparoscopic colorectal procedures for benign or malignant pathology between October 2002 and September 2008. Our analysis included 55 patients who previously had laparoscopic, open, or a combination of procedures and subsequently underwent laparoscopic colorectal surgery. We observed a 14.5 per cent conversion rate (n = 8). Of the patients who had previous open procedures (n = 48 [87.3%]), the conversion rate was 16.7 per cent. Only one patient (12.5%) who had a history of only laparoscopic surgery required conversion. The highest conversion rate in our study was from patients who underwent a left colectomy (60%, n = 3/5), which was the only statistically significant factor found for conversion. Since the emergence of laparoscopy, use in colon and rectal surgery nationwide has been poor as a result of multiple factors, including a frequent history of abdominal surgery. Our experience shows that laparoscopic colorectal surgery in patients with prior intra-abdominal surgery can be completed with an acceptable conversion rate.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2009

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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