[Laparoscopic versus open total mesorectal excision for the middle-lower rectal cancer: a clinical comparative study]

Jiang Yu, Ce Zhang, Ya-nan Wang, Yan-feng Hu, Xia Cheng, Guo-xin Li
Zhonghua Wei Chang Wai Ke za Zhi, Chinese Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 2009, 12 (6): 573-6

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility, safety, radicality and short-term outcome of laparoscopic total mesorectal excision(TME) in comparison with open procedure for the middle-lower rectal cancer.

METHODS: From November 2005 to October 2008, 93 patients with middle-lower rectal cancer received laparoscopic total mesorectal excision (LTME group), while 105 patients underwent conventional open TME (OTME group). The operative procedures, clinicopathological data and short-term outcome were collected and compared between the 2 groups.

RESULTS: (1) Comparison of surgical procedures. The demographic data of LTME and OTME groups were comparable (P >0.05). Four (4.3%) patients were converted to open procedure in LTME group. The anal sphincter preserved procedure accounted for 82.8% in LTME group and 81.9% in OTME group. The difference was not significant (P >0.05). (2) Comparison of perioperative surgical data. The mean operating time was (164.6+/-35.6) min in LTME group, significantly longer than that in OTME group (141.9+/-29.4) min (P <0.001). The operative blood losses were (51.4+/-20.2) ml and (180.0+/-64.7) ml in LTME and OTME group respectively, the difference was significant (P <0.001). The analgesia requirement, time for bowel movement retrieval, time to liquid food intake, time to resuming early activity and hospital stay in LTME group were significant lower or shorter than those in OTME group (P <0.001). There was no operative death in both groups. (3) Comparison of operative complications. The overall morbidity rate was 11.8% in LTME group, and 12.4% in OTME group, the difference was not significant (P >0.05). The major complications were equivalent between two groups. (4) Comparison of specimen. No significant differences were observed between two groups in terms of specimen length, lymph node harvest and negative distal margin. (5) Follow-up results. The mean follow-up time was 19 months. The recurrent rate and overall survival rate were 4.4% and 97.8% in LTME group, with no significant difference compared to those in OTME group (7.3% and 97.9%, P >0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic TME for middle-low rectal cancer is safe and feasible, and can potentially offer all the benefits of a minimally invasive approach and achieve satisfactory oncological outcome,which may lead to a better future of the TME technique.

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