To present a large initial series of patients who underwent laparoscopic-assisted segmental colectomy and to assess the feasibility and safety of this procedure. We summarized the clinical outcome data for 122 Mayo Clinic patients selected for laparoscopic-assisted resection of the right, left, or sigmoid colon between 1991 and 1993. Preexisting factors (such as obesity and prior abdominal operations), indications for surgical treatment, and intraoperative and postoperative complications were analyzed statistically in two groups of patients—those in whom the laparoscopic procedure was completed and those in whom conversion to an open surgical technique was necessary. Laparoscopic-assisted colectomy was successfully completed for a variety of colonic pathologic conditions, including polyps, cancer, and diverticulitis. No operative deaths occurred in this series, and the overall complication rate was low (11%). Patients in whom laparoscopic-assisted colectomy was completed had a more rapid return of bowel function and a briefer hospital stay than did those who required conversion to the traditional open surgical technique. Neither obesity nor previous abdominal surgical procedures precluded successful laparoscopic-assisted colectomy, although the conversion rate to open colectomy was 75% in patients whose weight exceeded 90 kg. These findings indicate that laparoscopic-assisted segmental colectomy is safe and feasible, and the procedure may offer patient-related advantages. Oncologic concerns, including recent reports of trocar site recurrences, suggest a cautious approach to its application for resection of colonic cancer.
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