Laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer: safe and effective? – A systematic review

Lourenco, Tania; Murray, Alison; Grant, Adrian; McKinley, Aileen; Krukowski, Zygmunt; Vale, Luke
May 2008
Surgical Endoscopy;May2008, Vol. 22 Issue 5, p1146
Academic Journal
To determine the clinical effectiveness of laparoscopic and laparoscopically assisted surgery in comparison with open surgery for the treatment of colorectal cancer. Open resection is the standard method for surgical removal of primary colorectal tumours. However, there is significant morbidity associated with this procedure. Laparoscopic resection (LR) is technically more difficult but may overcome problems associated with open resections (OR). Systematic review and meta-analysis of short- and long-term data from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing LS with OR. Highly sensitive searches of nine databases identified 19 primary RCTs describing data from over 4,500 participants. Length of hospital stay is shorter, blood loss and pain are less, and return to usual activities is likely to be faster after LR than after OR, but duration of operation is longer. Lymph node retrieval, completeness of resection and quality of life do not appear to differ. No statistically significant differences were observed in rates of anastomotic leakage, abdominal wound breakdown, incisional hernia, wound and urinary tract infections, operative and 30-day mortality, and recurrences, nor in overall and disease-free survival up to three years. LR is associated with a quicker recovery in terms of return to usual activities and length of hospital stay with no evidence of a difference in complications or long-term outcomes in comparison to OR, up to three years postoperatively.


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