Background: Laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer has undergone tremendous advancement in the last two decades, with maturation of techniques and integration into current practice.
Sources of data: Worldwide English-language literature on laparoscopic surgery for the management of colon and rectal cancer was reviewed.
Areas of agreement: A large body of evidence has attested to the improved short-term outcomes and long-term oncological safety of laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer. Laparoscopic colectomy can be recommended to suitable patients where expertise is available. Laparoscopic resection for rectal cancer is feasible, with good evidence of faster post-operative recovery and adequate surgical quality, but requires more data on long-term oncological outcomes. This review examines the evidence and current practice of laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer.
Areas of controversy: Does laparoscopic surgery confer a survival advantage for colorectal cancer patients?
Growing points: The role of single-incision laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery in colorectal cancer.
Areas timely for developing research: Barriers to the adoption of the laparoscopic technique.