Minimally invasive surgical techniques are preferred for a variety of surgical disorders and result in improved outcomes. Laparoscopic colectomy is associated with decreased postoperative pain, faster ileus resolution, shorter hospitalization, and improved cosmesis when compared with open colectomy. The laparoscopic technique is now often preferred for benign disease, but concerns over oncologic adequacy have limited its availability for cancer. The Clinical Outcomes of Surgical Therapy randomized trial of laparoscopic versus open colectomy for cancer recently validated the efficacy of laparoscopy for colon cancer. Limitations include the technical requirements of advanced laparoscopic skills and training, increased operative time, and equipment costs. Surgeons performing laparoscopic colectomy should be adequately experienced and certified to ensure successful outcomes. Despite these limitations, patient recovery benefits may offset the increased operative costs and result in improved cost-effectiveness overall.
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