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Br J Surg. 2004 Sep;91(9):1111-24.

Meta-analysis of short-term outcomes after laparoscopic resection for colorectal cancer.

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  • 1Surgical Outcomes Research Centre, Central Sydney Area Health Service, University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



The safety and efficacy of laparoscopic resection (LR) for colorectal cancer remains to be established.


A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials comparing the short-term outcomes of laparoscopic with those of open resection for colorectal cancer was undertaken. A literature search was performed for relevant articles published by the end of 2002. Two reviewers independently appraised the trials using a predetermined protocol. Results were analysed using Comprehensive Meta-analysis.


The outcomes of 2512 procedures from 12 trials were analysed. LR took on average 32.9 per cent longer to perform than open resection but was associated with lower morbidity rates. Specifically, wound infection rates were significantly lower (odds ratio 0.47 (95 per cent confidence interval 0.28 to 0.80); P = 0.005). In patients undergoing LR, the average time to passage of first flatus was reduced by 33.5 per cent, that to tolerance of a solid diet by 23.9 per cent and that to 80 per cent recovery of peak expiratory flow by 44.3 per cent. Early narcotic analgesia requirements were also reduced by 36.9 per cent, pain at rest by 34.8 per cent and during coughing by 33.9 per cent, and hospital stay by 20.6 per cent. There were no significant differences in perioperative mortality or oncological clearance.


LR for colorectal cancer is associated with lower morbidity, less pain, a faster recovery and a shorter hospital stay than open resection, without compromising oncological clearance.

Copyright 2004 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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