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

H Ptok, R Steinert, F Meyer, K-P Kröll, C Scheele, F Köckerling, I Gastinger, H Lippert
Der Chirurg; Zeitschrift Für Alle Gebiete der Operativen Medizen 2006, 77 (8): 709-17

BACKGROUND: 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.

METHODS: 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.

RESULTS: 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).

CONCLUSION: 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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