Introduction: Long-term outcome of patients following conversion during laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer is not often reported. Recent data suggest a negative impact of conversion on long-term survival. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of conversion on the perioperative outcome and on long-term survival in patients who underwent laparoscopic resection for curable colorectal cancer.
Methods: Evaluation of our prospective in-hospital collected data of patients who underwent laparoscopic surgery for curable colorectal cancer over a 5-year period. Long-term data were collected from our outpatient's clinic data and personal contact when necessary.
Results: During the study period, 175 patients were operated on laparoscopically for curable colon cancer (stage I-III). Mean follow-up was 33±18 months with a minimum follow-up of 12 months. For various reasons, 25 patients (14.4%) had to be converted to open surgery. Short-term outcome revealed a trend towards longer operations, a higher rate of surgical complications, and a longer hospital stay in the converted group. Five-year, Kaplan-Meier, disease-free analysis was worse for converted patients. Overall survival did not differ between the 2 groups. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis revealed that conversion and AJCC stage were independent risk factors for recurrence.
Conclusions: Conversion in laparoscopic surgery for curable colorectal cancer is associated with a worse perioperative outcome and worse disease-free survival.