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Primary laparoscopic-assisted endorectal colon pull-through for Hirschsprung's disease: a new gold standard.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the surgical technique and early clinical results after a one-stage laparoscopic-assisted endorectal colon pull-through for Hirschsprung's disease.

SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Recent trends in surgery for Hirschsprung's disease have been toward earlier repair and fewer surgical stages. A one-stage pull-through for Hirschsprung's disease avoids the additional anesthesia, surgery, and complications of a colostomy. A laparoscopic-assisted approach diminishes surgical trauma to the peritoneal cavity.

METHODS: The technique uses four small abdominal ports. The transition zone is initially identified by seromuscular biopsies obtained laparoscopically. A colon pedicle preserving the marginal artery is fashioned endoscopically. The rectal mobilization is performed transanally using an endorectal sleeve technique. The anastomosis is performed transanally 1 cm above the dentate line. This report discusses the outcome of primary laparoscopic pull-through in 80 patients performed at six pediatric surgery centers over the past 5 years.

RESULTS: The age at surgery ranged from 3 days to 96 months. The average length of the surgical procedure was 2.5 hours. Almost all of the patients passed stool and flatus within 24 hours of surgery. The average time for discharge after surgery was 3.7 days. All 80 patients are currently alive and well. Most of the children are too young to evaluate for fecal continence, but 18 of the older children have been reported to be continent.

CONCLUSION: Laparoscopic-assisted colon pull-through appears to reduce perioperative complications and postoperative recovery time dramatically. The technique is quickly learned and has been performed in multiple centers with consistently good results.

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