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Br J Surg. 2006 Aug;93(8):921-8.

Systematic review of laparoscopic versus open surgery for colorectal cancer.

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Unidad de Evaluación de Tecnologías Sanitarias, Agencia Laín Entralgo, Consejería de Sanidad y Consumo, Madrid, Spain.



This study compares the efficacy and safety of laparoscopic surgery (LS) and open surgery (OS) for colorectal cancer.


An electronic search of the literature was undertaken to identify primary studies and systematic reviews. Information on the efficacy and safety of LS versus OS was analysed. A meta-analysis was conducted to examine long-term outcomes.


A systematic review published in 2000 and 12 more recent randomized clinical trials were identified. Compared with OS, LS reduced blood loss and pain, and resulted in a faster return of bowel function and earlier resumption of normal diet. Hospital stay was up to 2 days shorter after LS. No significant differences between the techniques were noted in the incidence of complications or postoperative mortality. The time required to complete LS was significantly longer (0.5-1.0 h more). No significant differences were found between the two procedures in terms of overall mortality, cancer-related mortality or disease recurrence.


LS takes longer than OS but offers several short-term benefits. However, complication rates are similar for both procedures and no differences were found in long-term outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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