Purpose: A laparoscopic approach to restorative proctocolectomy is new and has not been compared recently with the traditional open procedure. By using prospectively gathered data, laparoscopic and open restorative proctocolectomy procedures in mucosal ulcerative colitis and familial adenomatous polyposis patients were compared by using a case-matched design.
Methods: Forty patients, composing 20 consecutive laparoscopic cases (13 mucosal ulcerative colitis, 7 familial adenomatous polyposis), were matched for age, gender, and body mass index with 20 open cases (13 mucosal ulcerative colitis, 7 familial adenomatous polyposis) performed during the same time period. Mucosal ulcerative colitis patients were also matched for severity of disease by using hemoglobin and albumin levels, whole blood count, and steroid dependency. A loop ileostomy was made in 12 of 13 laparoscopic mucosal ulcerative colitis patients, all open mucosal ulcerative colitis patients, and no familial adenomatous polyposis patients.
Results: The median age was 25 (range, 9-61) years. There were no intraoperative complications in either group and no conversions in the laparoscopic group. The operative times (median, range) were significantly longer in laparoscopic cases (330, 180-480 minutes) vs. open cases (230, 180-300 minutes), P < 0.001. Bowel function returned more quickly in laparoscopic cases (2, 1-8 days) vs. open cases (4, 1-13 days), P = 0.03; and the length of stay was shorter in laparoscopic cases (7, 4-14 days) vs. open cases (8, 6-17 days), P = 0.02. For diverted patients, the median length of stay was reduced by two days in laparoscopic cases (6, 4-14 days) vs. open cases (8, 6-17 days), P = 0.01. Complications occurred in 4 of 20 laparoscopic patients (3 obstruction/ileus and 1 pelvic abscess) and 5 of 20 open patients (2 obstruction and ileus, 1 each anastomotic leak and abscess, peptic ulceration, and episode of dehydration).
Conclusions: Return of intestinal function and length of stay are reduced in the laparoscopic group compared with open group. A laparoscopic approach to restorative proctocolectomy has the potential of becoming an appealing alternative to conventional restorative proctocolectomy surgery.