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Dis Colon Rectum. 2004 Aug;47(8):1371-6.

Benefits of hand-assisted laparoscopic restorative proctocolectomy: a comparative study.

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  • 1Department of Colon & Rectal Surgery, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, Vermont 01805, USA.



Hand-assisted laparoscopic colectomy is thought to facilitate colonic mobilization while maintaining the benefits of laparoscopic surgery. Although previous studies of hand-assisted colectomy have focused on segmental colonic resection, the use of hand-assisted laparoscopic restorative proctocolectomy has not been investigated. This study evaluated the effectiveness of hand-assisted laparoscopic approach compared with a conventional laparoscopic method in patients undergoing restorative proctocolectomy.


From a prospective database, a consecutive series of patients were identified undergoing conventional and hand-assisted laparoscopic restorative proctocolectomy and results were compared. Twenty-three patients, comprising 10 hand-assisted and 13 conventional laparoscopic patients, were identified. Patient characteristics, perioperative parameters, and outcomes were assessed.


Both groups were well matched with no differences in age, gender, body mass index, operative indication, diagnosis, comorbidity, or steroid usage. There were no differences among incision size between the hand-assisted (8 (range, 8-20) cm) and conventional laparoscopic cases (8 (range, 5-10) cm). The median operative time was significantly shorter in the hand-assisted group (247 (range, 210-390) minutes) compared with the conventional laparoscopic group (300 (range, 240-400) minutes; P < 0.01). The length of stay was similar between groups (hand-assisted: 4 (range, 3-13) days vs. conventional: 6 (range, 4-17) days). Complications occurred in four hand-assisted patients (40 percent; 2 ileus, mechanical obstruction, and dehydration) and in four patients undergoing conventional laparoscopic method (31 percent; 2 anastomotic leak, ileus, and mechanical obstruction).


Compared with conventional laparoscopic restorative proctocolectomy, the hand-assisted method resulted in a significant reduction in operative time without detriment to bowel function, length of stay, or patient outcome. The hand-assisted approach to restorative proctocolectomy is likely to replace conventional laparoscopic methods as the preferred laparoscopic approach for this technically challenging procedure.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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