Background and aims: Colorectal surgery performed in palliative intent is a relatively common intervention. The present study investigates the question whether such interventions are suitable for laparoscopic procedure.
Patients and methods: The data presented herein were collected from 4834 patients within the framework of a multicenter study initiated by the "Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery Study Group (LCSSG)." In a subgroup analysis of 331 operated palliative-intent patients, the short-term outcomes were evaluated and compared with those obtained in patients undergoing surgery for benign indications.
Results: Overall, the morbidity and mortality rates were significantly higher in the cancer patients than in patients with a benign indication, with no significant differences between the 2 groups in terms of intraoperative complications, conversion, and reoperation rates. The analysis of the individual complications revealed that the significant differences were due exclusively to the more frequent presence of general medical complications, and thus were unrelated to the laparoscopic procedure.
Conclusions: The laparoscopic approach to the palliation of incurable colorectal carcinomas was associated with comparable results with regard to intraoperative complications, conversion, reoperation rates, and postoperative surgical complications in comparison with surgical procedures for benign indications, with significantly higher morbidity and mortality rates related solely to general-medical complications.