PURPOSE: Single-incision laparoscopic colectomy represents a potential advance in minimally invasive surgical approaches to colorectal disease. Although widely promoted, outcome data are virtually absent. A group of highly experienced laparoscopic attending colorectal surgeons convened to standardize technique and prospectively record operative details and outcomes. METHODS: Single-incision laparoscopic colectomy was performed by 10 experienced attending colorectal surgeons with minimal or no prior single-incision laparoscopic colectomy experience. Surgeon rating of ergonomics and 15 components of operation conduct was compared with conventional multiple-port laparoscopic colectomy. Patient demographics, operative details, and outcome data were prospectively collected. RESULTS: Thirty-nine single-incision laparoscopic colectomies were performed (25 right colectomies, 5 ileocolic resections, 8 sigmoidectomies, and 1 low anterior resection). Underlying pathology included polyps (12), cancer (15), Crohn's disease (5), and diverticulitis (7). Patients were highly selected with a mean body mass index of 25.6 (range, 16-40). Two conversions to open resection occurred, 1 because of fistula and 1 because of adhesions, in patients with a mean body mass index of 34. An additional port was required in 3 patients. Mean incision length was 4.2 cm (range, 2.5-8) and operative time was 120 minutes (range, 68-210). Complications included 1 wound infection and 2 anastomotic bleeds requiring transfusion. Average length of stay was 4.4 days (range, 2-8). Mean lymph node harvest was 19 (range, 12-39). Exposure, instrument conflict, ergonomics, ease of instrumentation, and camera operation were rated significantly more difficult with single-incision laparoscopic colectomy than with multiple-port laparoscopic colectomy. CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary data demonstrate that single-incision laparoscopic colectomy can be performed safely in selected patients by experienced surgeons. The benefits of single-incision compared with multiple-port laparoscopic colectomy are not immediately evident. Despite the advanced skills of the faculty, a learning curve of undetermined length still exists in which specific components of single-incision laparoscopic colectomy are more difficult than multiple-port laparoscopic colectomy, and areas of focus remain that require advances to make single-incision laparoscopic colectomy equivalent to multiple-port laparoscopic colectomy. The multi-institutional registry will enable further analysis of single-incision laparoscopic colectomy.
- Multiple-port laparoscopic colectomy
- Single-incision laparoscopic colectomy