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Benefits of Laparoscopy: Does the Disease Condition that Indicated Colectomy Matter?

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The benefits of laparoscopic (LC) over open colectomy (OC) have been well characterized for a variety of conditions. Whether the relative benefits of LC differ for different conditions has not been previously investigated. The aim of this study was to identify whether there are differences in benefits of LC for colon cancer (CC), Crohn's disease (CD), and diverticular disease (DD). Data of patients with CC, CD, and DD undergoing elective colectomy from January 2000 to December 2007 were identified from departmental databases. Patients with CC, CD, and DD undergoing LC were matched 1:1 for diagnosis, gender, body mass index, surgical procedure, American Society of Anesthesiologists scale, and date of surgery to patients undergoing OC. TNM stage was also matched for patients with CC. Two hundred eighty-nine patients undergoing LC (CC, 93; CD, 140; DD, 56) were matched 1:1 to 289 patients undergoing OC. Median age was 49 years (range, 14 to 91 years) in LC and 52 years (range, 14 to 98 years) in OC (P = 0.35). All other matched criteria were also similar in both groups. The conversion rate to OC was 13 per cent (n = 36). Patients undergoing LC had significantly shorter lengths of stay (LOS) (3 days [range, 1 to 70 days] vs 6 days [range, 1 to 37 days], P < 0.001) and lower estimated blood loss (EBL) (100 mL [range, 10 to 1750 mL] vs 200 mL [range, 10 to 1700 mL], P < 0.001). Median operative time was similar in both groups (LC: 145 minutes [range, 35 to 431 minutes] vs OC: 135 minutes [range, 23 to 485 minutes], P = 0.54). The conversion rate was lower for DD (2%) when compared with CC (18.9%) and CD (13.4%). Improvement in EBL with LC was least pronounced in patients with CD and most pronounced in patients with DD (P interaction < 0.001). In the LC group, patients with DD presented less postoperative complications (P = 0.009). LC results in reduced LOS and EBL with similar complications rates when compared with OC. The benefits of LC are more pronounced in DD when compared with CD and CC.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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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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