[Laparoscopic surgery for inflammatory bowel disease; an update]

S W Bas Polle, Paul J van Koperen, Mark I van Berge Henegouwen, J F M Frederik Slors, Pieter C F Stokkers, Willem A Bemelman
Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde 2009, 153: B284

OBJECTIVE: To carry out a review of the literature for the short- and long-term effects of various laparoscopic operations in the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease and to compare these operations with open surgical procedures.

DESIGN: Review of the literature.

METHOD: PubMed (Medline), Embase and Cochrane databases were searched for randomised clinical trials and meta-analyses on this topic, published between January 1991 and August 2008. If no level A1, A2 or A2B studies were found, we searched for the best available evidence.

RESULTS: For Crohn's disease, there was level A2 evidence that, in comparison with open surgery, in experienced hands laparoscopic ileocaecal resection enhanced recovery and led to a shorter hospital stay and lower costs. Following laparoscopic surgery, subjective body image and cosmetic appearance scores were higher, when compared in the long term. In patients with ulcerative colitis, the expected benefits of laparoscopic proctocolectomy have not yet been demonstrated in a randomised study. Although there was a trend towards a reduced hospital stay (1.6 days) when laparoscopy proctocolectomy was performed, the operating time was 1.5 h longer than in conventional surgery. Body image and cosmetic appearance scores were also higher here when compared in the long term.

CONCLUSION: Laparoscopic ileocaecal resection is preferable in Crohn's disease, provided that it is performed in a centre with sufficient expertise in laparoscopic surgery. In patients with ulcerative colitis, laparoscopic proctocolectomy with construction of an ileoanal pouch is indicated in young active patients who are concerned for their appearance. Given its complexity, this operation should be performed only in specialist centres.

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