Laparoscopy Also Successful Treatment

“For a long time, many surgeons have been afraid that laparoscopy might impair survival in colorectal cancer patients and cause metastases in the skin openings that are used to insert the instruments, but this has proven not to be the case,” said lead reviewer Esther Kuhry, M.D., a general surgery resident at Namsos Hospital in Norway.

In a meta-analysis that combined the results of 12 trials involving 3,346 patients, the reviewers compared outcomes of laparoscopic and open surgeries used in colorectal cancer treatment and found no significant differences between the two types of surgeries when it came to long-term survival and cancer recurrence rates.

Based on the review results, “laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer is associated with survival and mortality rates that are equal to open surgery,” Kuhry said. The review found no significant differences between the two groups in terms of cancer metastasis, short-term and five-year survival rates and deaths caused by cancer. T

he reviewers also evaluated the incidence of adhesions - bands of scar tissue that form between organs and tissue - and hernias at the incision site, two common complications after colorectal cancer surgery. They found no significant differences in the rates of these complications between the laparoscopic and open surgery groups.

However, for rectal cancer, not enough evidence is available to draw reliable conclusions about whether laparoscopic surgery safely compares to open surgery, Kuhry said. Only two included studies evaluated patients with rectal cancer separately. "More studies are emerging that suggest the laparoscopic approach to colorectal cancer resection is equivalent in terms of cancer control. However, more long-term data is needed to verify that and more thorough data is required before anyone can say it is better or preferred,” said Janice Rafferty, M.D., chief of the division of colon and rectal surgery at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.; Source: Health Behavior News Service