Body image, cosmesis, quality of life, and functional outcome of hand-assisted laparoscopic versus open restorative proctocolectomy: long-term results of a randomized trial

Surg Endosc. 2007 Aug;21(8):1301-7. doi: 10.1007/s00464-007-9294-9. Epub 2007 May 24.


Background: This study aimed to compare quality of life (QOL), functional outcome, body image, and cosmesis after hand-assisted laparoscopic (LRP) versus open restorative proctocolectomy (ORP). The potential long-term advantages of LRP over ORP remain to be determined. The most likely advantage of LRP is the superior cosmetic result. It is, however, unclear whether the size and location of incisions affect body image and QOL.

Methods: In a previously conducted randomized trial comparing LRP with ORP, 60 patients were prospectively evaluated. The primary end points were body image and cosmesis. The secondary end points were morbidity, QOL, and functional outcome. A body image questionnaire was used to evaluate body image and cosmesis. The Short Form-36 Health Survey and the Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Inventory were used to assess QOL. Body image and QOL also were assessed preoperatively.

Results: A total of 53 patients completed the QOL and functional outcome questionnaires. There were no differences in functional outcome, morbidity, or QOL between LRP and ORP. At a median of 2.7 years after surgery, 46 patients returned the questionnaires regarding body image, cosmesis, and morbidity. The body image and cosmesis scores of female patients were significantly higher in the LRP group than in the ORP group (body image, 17.4 vs 14.9; cosmesis, 19.1 vs 13.0, respectively). The female patients in the ORP group had significantly lower body image scores than the male patients (14.9 vs 18.3).

Conclusions: This study is the first to show that ORP has a negative impact on body image and cosmesis as compared with LRP. Functional outcome, QOL, and morbidity are similar for the two approaches. The advantages of a long-lasting improved body image and cosmesis for this relatively young patient population may compensate for the longer operating times and higher costs, particularly for women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / surgery
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Image*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / surgery
  • Defecation
  • Esthetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Proctocolectomy, Restorative* / methods
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome