Laparoscopic colectomy using cancer principles is appropriate for colonoscopically unresectable adenomas of the colon

Rasmy Loungnarath, Matthew G. Mutch, Elisa H. Birnbaum, Thomas E. Read, James W. Fleshman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: This study was undertaken to determine the risks of cancer in unresectable polyps and to compare the short-term outcome of laparoscopic colectomy with that of open colectomy for benign polyps. METHODS: A retrospective review of all patients (n = 165) undergoing colectomy for an adenoma unresectable at colonoscopy was performed on patients collected in a prospective database. One hundred four patients underwent laparoscopic colectomy and 61 underwent open colectomy between 1991 and 2003. Follow-up was 7 to 155 (median, 90) months. RESULTS: In the laparoscopic group, 85% of the patients underwent a right colectomy and 15% underwent a left colectomy or a sigmoidectomy. Conversion to open colectomy occurred in 4.8% of the cases. Complications occurred in 14% of the patients, including 1 death. The median length of stay was 4 days. At final pathology, cancer was diagnosed in 15 patients: stage I in 8 patients, stage II in 5, and stage III in 2. In the open colectomy group, 69% of the patients underwent right colectomy. The complication rate reached 23% (P = .13), including death in 2 patients. The median length of stay was 6 days (P < .01). Cancer was diagnosed in 6 patients: stage I in 5 patients, and stage II in 1. Proximal (10 cm) and distal (13 cm) margins, lymph nodes harvest (9), incidence of cancer (13%), and high-grade dysplasia (22%) were similar between groups. There were no local recurrences, trocar site implants, or deaths due to cancer. CONCLUSION: Laparoscopic colectomy for polyps unresectable at colonoscopy is safe. Oncologic resection of the colon should be performed for all colonoscopically unresectable polyps due to the risk of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1022
Number of pages6
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Colon cancer
  • Laparoscopic colectomy
  • Polyp


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