Laparoscopic Assisted Colectomies Versus Open Colectomy
AbstractMinimally invasive techniques are having an impact on a variety of surgical procedures. Before their widespread acceptance as the standard of care, studies need to document their efficacy in comparison to open techniques. This study compared 25 laparoscopic-assisted colectomies to 25 open colectomies all performed within the last five years by the same surgeon. In terms of adequacy of resection, laparoscopic assisted colectomy compared favorably with open colectomy in both length of resection (15.7 cm vs 19.3 cm) and average number of nodes (6 vs 10). In addition to lessening patient discomfort, the other advantages were earlier return of bowel function (regular diet postoperative day 2 vs postoperative day 5) and shorter length of stay (4 vs 8 days). Operating costs were significantly greater, but this was offset by the shorter length of stay. This study supports laparoscopic assisted colectomy as a technically safe procedure with substantial patient benefits.