Impact of conversion on the long-term outcome in laparoscopic resection of colorectal cancer

Surg Endosc. 2008 Dec;22(12):2625-30. doi: 10.1007/s00464-008-9813-3. Epub 2008 Feb 23.


Background: Long-term outcome of patients with conversion following laparoscopic resection of colorectal cancer has seldom been reported. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of conversion on the operative outcome and survival of patients who underwent laparoscopic resection for colorectal malignancy.

Methods: An analysis of a prospectively collected database of 470 patients who underwent laparoscopic colectomy between May 2000 and December 2006 was performed. The operative results and long-term outcomes of patients with conversion were compared with those with successful laparoscopic operations.

Results: The overall conversion rate to open surgery was 8.7% (41 patients). There was no difference in age, comorbid illness, location of tumor, and stage of disease between the laparoscopic and conversion groups. The most common reasons for conversion include adhesions (34.1%), tumor invasion into adjacent structures (17.1%), bulky tumor (9.8%), and uncontrolled hemorrhage (9.8%). A male preponderance was observed in the conversion group. Tumor size was significantly larger in the conversion group compared with the laparoscopic group (5 versus 4 cm, P = 0.002). Although there was no difference in the operative time between the two groups, increased perioperative blood loss (461.9 vs. 191.2 ml, P < 0.001), increased postoperative complication rate (56.1% versus 16.7%, P = 0.001) and prolonged median hospital stay (10 versus 6 days, P < 0.001) were associated with the conversion group. Consequently, patients in the conversion group were more likely to develop local recurrence (9.8% versus 2.8%, P < 0.001) with a significantly reduced cumulative cancer-free survival.

Conclusion: The disease-free survival and the local recurrence were significantly worse by the presence of conversion in laparoscopic resection for colorectal malignancy. Adoption of a standardized operative strategy may improve the perioperative outcome after conversion.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery*
  • Aged
  • Blood Loss, Surgical / statistics & numerical data
  • Colectomy / methods*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Laparoscopy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Laparotomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Burden