Comparative Study
Journal Article
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Laparoscopy for inflammatory bowel disease: pros and cons.

The role of laparoscopic surgery in the treatment of colorectal malignancies is still under investigation, although it can offer significant benefits to many patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The aim of this study was to assess the pros and cons of the laparoscopic management of IBD. Data were obtained from a review of the literature published since 1992, when the first report of laparoscopic surgery for IBD appeared in print. From 1992 to 1997 several series of laparoscopic colorectal surgery for the management of IBD have been reported. A close evaluation of these studies revealed that laparoscopy in patients with terminal ileal Crohn's disease or anal Crohn's disease in need of fecal diversion offers significant advantages compared to laparotomy, including decreased pain, length of hospitalization, and disability. An additional bonus is improved cosmesis and a reduction in symptomatic postoperative adhesions. These many benefits can be achieved without any increase in morbidity or expense. Conversely, the use of this technology for restorative proctocolectomy in patients with mucosal ulcerative colitis is associated with a longer operative time and an increased incidence of both intra- and postoperative complications compared to laparotomy. Laparoscopic colorectal surgery can thus be advantageous for treatment of terminal ileal Crohn's disease but cannot be routinely justified for the treatment of mucosal ulcerative colitis.

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