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Chirurg. 2006 Aug;77(8):709-17.

[Long-term oncological results after laparoscopic, converted and primary open procedures for rectal carcinoma. Results of a multicenter observational study].

[Article in German]

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An-Institut für Qualitätssicherung in der operativen Medizin, Otto-von-Guericke Universität, Leipziger Strasse 44, 39120 Magdeburg.



The laparoscopic resection of rectal cancer shows morbidity and oncological safety comparable to the open approach, but morbidity increases after conversion to open resection. No oncological long-term results are available for the latter patients.


From 01/01/2000-31/12/2002, patients with curatively resected rectal cancer enrolled in a observational study were evaluated for morbidity, mortality, tumor- and local recurrence rate, paying attention to patients with conversion from laparoscopic to open resection.


237 (3.3%) of 7,189 patients underwent laparoscopic resection (ITT). These patients showed significantly more T1/2 tumors (P<0.001) in earlier UICC stages (P<0.001) than open resected patients. 35 (14.8%) of 237 laparoscopic procedures were converted. Compared with patients receiving complete laparoscopic or open resection, these patients showed significantly higher frequencies of intraoperative (P<0.001) and general postoperative complications (P=0.003) as well as the highest overall morbidity (P=0.031). After a median follow-up of 30.1 months, the highest 5-year local recurrence rate was found in the converted group (16.0%). The laparoscopically resected patients showed a local recurrence rate of 3.3%, patients with open resection of 12.4% (P=0.082). The disease-free survival rate did not differ between the groups (P=0.585).


Laparoscopic resection of rectal cancer provides oncological results similar to open resection. After conversion, the short and oncological long-term outcomes were worse. Considering a conversion rate of 15%, only a strict indication for the laparoscopic approach can be allowed, and laparoscopic resection should be performed at centers.

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