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Dig Dis. 2005;23(2):127-34.

Current status of laparoscopic therapy of colorectal cancer.

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Klinik fur Chirurgie, Universitatsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lubeck, Deutschland.


Laparoscopic colorectal resections offer several benefits postoperatively, including minimal impairment of gastrointestinal and pulmonary function, less immunosuppression, shorter hospital stay and improved reconvalescence. Since the introduction of laparoscopic surgery for the therapy of curable colorectal cancer, some concern was voiced in terms of oncologic radicality, the issue of port-site metastases and tumor cell distribution. However, the clinical reality has demonstrated that oncologic radicality is equivalent to open surgery, and the incidence of port-site metastases is not increased when compared to wound recurrence at the laparotomy site. Focusing on colon and rectum, various indications of laparoscopic-endoscopic 'rendezvous' procedures exist including laparoscopic-assisted endoscopic transluminal resection, endoscopic-assisted wedge or anatomical resections, and, finally, intraoperative tumor location by colonoscopy to achieve oncologic resection margins in laparoscopic curative resections. In terms of colorectal curative resections, long-term results provide level I evidence that laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer is oncologically adequate and can be performed with equivalent morbidity and mortality rates when compared to conventional surgery. In terms of rectal cancer, no level I evidence is available. However, short-term data from experienced centers do not report inferior oncologic outcome particularly related to laparoscopic total mesorectal excision.

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