Results of laparoscopic resection in high-risk rectal cancer patients

Sofoklis Panteleimonitis, Nuno Figueiredo, Thakshyanee Bhunakrishna, Mick Harper, Amjad Parvaiz

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Purpose - Obesity, neoadjuvant-radiotherapy, tumour proximity to the anal verge and previous abdominal surgery are factors that might increase the intra-operative difficulty of laparoscopic rectal cancer surgery. However, whether patients with these ‘high-risk’ characteristics are subject to worse short- or long-term outcomes is debated. The aim of this study is to examine the short- and long-term clinical and oncological outcomes of patients receiving laparoscopic rectal surgery with any of these high-risk characteristics and compare them with patients that do not possess any of these high-risk features.

Methods - For the purpose of this study data from consecutive patients receiving laparoscopic rectal cancer resections between 2006 and 2016 from two centres were analysed. High-risk patients were defined as patients with either one of the following characteristics: BMI ≥ 30, neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy, tumour < 8 cm from the anal verge and previous abdominal surgery.

Results - A total of 313 patients were identified (227 high risk, 86 low risk). Short-term outcomes were similar between the two groups with the exception of blood loss and length of stay, which were higher in the high-risk group (10 vs 2.5 ml, p = 0.045; 7 vs 5 days, p = 0.001). There were no statistically significant differences in 5-year overall survival (79.7% vs 79.8%, p = 0.757), disease-free survival (76.8% vs 69.3%, p = 0.175), distant disease-free interval (84.8% vs 79.7%, p = 0.231) and local recurrence-free interval (100%, 97.4%, p = 0.162) between the two groups.

Conclusion - Similar short- and long-term outcomes can be achieved in high-risk and low-risk patients receiving laparoscopic rectal surgery. The presented data support the suitability of laparoscopic surgery for this group of patients.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLangenbeck's Archives of Surgery
Early online date29 May 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 29 May 2020


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