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J Am Coll Surg. 2003 Aug;197(2):233-41; discussion 241-2.

Simultaneous liver and colorectal resections are safe for synchronous colorectal liver metastasis.

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Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.



The optimal surgical strategy for the treatment of synchronous resectable colorectal liver metastasis has not been defined. The aims of this study were to review our experience with synchronous colorectal metastasis and to define the safety of simultaneous versus staged resection of the colon and liver.


From September 1984 through November 2001, 240 patients were treated surgically for primary adenocarcinoma of the large bowel and synchronous hepatic metastasis. Clinicopathologic, operative, and perioperative data were reviewed to evaluate selection criteria, operative methods, and perioperative outcomes.


One hundred thirty-four patients underwent simultaneous resection of a colorectal primary and hepatic metastasis in a single operation (Group I), and 106 patients underwent staged operations (Group II). Simultaneous resections tend to be performed for right colon primaries (p < 0.001), smaller (p < 0.01) and fewer (p < 0.001) liver metastases, and less extensive liver resection (p < 0.001). Complications were less common in the simultaneous resection group, with 65 patients (49%) sustaining 142 complications, compared with 71 patients (67%) sustaining 197 complications for both hospitalizations in the staged resection group (p < 0.003). Patients having simultaneous resection required fewer days in the hospital (median 10 days versus 18 days, p = 0.001). Perioperative mortality was similar (simultaneous, n = 3; staged, n = 3).


Simultaneous colon and liver resection is safe and efficient in the treatment of patients with colorectal cancer and synchronous liver metastasis. By avoiding a second laparotomy, the overall complication rate is reduced, with no change in operative mortality. Given its reduced morbidity, shorter treatment time, and similar cancer outcomes, simultaneous resection should be considered a safe option in patients with resectable synchronous colorectal metastasis.

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