Endoscopic removal is the treatment of choice for colorectal polyps. However, this therapeutic option is limited by the size of the tumor, sessile implantation, or technical impossibility. These cases are ideal for laparoscopic treatment because of the anatomy of the colon is and because the risk of manipulating a malignant lesion is lower. However, there is the added difficulty of identifying the lesion. In other cases, unsuspected neoplastic invasion of an endoscopically removed polyp makes surgery necessary.
Aim: To evaluate the results of laparoscopic surgery in the treatment of colorectal polyps.
Material and methods: Between December 1997 and November 1999, 270 endoscopic polypectomies were performed. In 15 patients, endoscopic removal was technically impossible or contraindicated. These patients were treated laparoscopically. One patient who was found to have an invasive carcinoma following polypectomy was also treated laparoscopically. The technical characteristics of the operation (duration, conversion, morbi-mortality, postoperative stay, size of the polyp and number of ganglions) were analyzed and compared with 43 other laparoscopic operations in the colon carried out for other reasons (n = 43).
Results: In nine patients, surgery was indicated because of the size of the polyp, in three for technical reasons, in three for severe atypia and in one because of an invasive carcinoma following polypectomy. The operation was completed by laparoscopy in 15 patients (94%). Ten right hemicolectomies, five sigmoidectomies and one anterior resection assisted by hand port were carried out. The diameter of the lesions was 4.4 +/- 2.4 cm. Histological studies revealed carcinoma in situ in five, infiltrating carcinoma in two, non-malignant adenoma in six and lipoma in one. Comparison of the results of patients who underwent colectomy for polyps with those of the group who underwent surgery for other reasons revealed lower morbidity (24% vs. 22%) and need for conversion (7% vs. 16%), as well as a significant decrease in operating time (130 +/- 10 vs. 148 +/- 32 min, p < 0.05) and in postoperative stay (6.6 +/- 1.4 vs. 8.3 +/- 2.5 days, p < 0.02).
Conclusion: Laparoscopic colonic resection is particularly suitable in the treatment of colorectal polyps.