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Surg Endosc. 2001 Mar;15(3):305-13. Epub 2000 Dec 12.

Alterations in the immune system and tumor growth in laparoscopy.

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  • 1University of Hull Academic Surgical Unit, Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham, HU16 5JQ, United Kingdom.



The explosion in the use of therapeutic laparoscopy during the past decade has focused much research interest on finding a basic scientific support for the clinically apparent attenuation of the stress response to surgery. In particular, the potential impact that attenuation of the immune response to surgery may have on laparoscopy for the cure of malignancy has attracted much attention.


A review of the published literature on the stress response to laparoscopic surgery and the impact of laparoscopy on tumor growth was performed.


Evidence favors an attenuation of the immune response to surgery with laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Whether this is true also of more major procedures such as laparoscopically assisted colectomy for malignancy is currently unclear. In animal models, tumor growth after laparoscopic surgery is less than after laparotomy and depends on the insufflation agent used.


Laparoscopic cholecystectomy appears to be associated with attenuation of the immune response to surgery. The implications of these findings for the future use of laparoscopic surgical techniques for malignant disease remain unclear.

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