Background: Complete macroscopic cytoreduction in patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC) is the basic requirement for long-term survival. Diagnostic laparoscopy (DL) can be difficult and of limited clinical value secondary to postoperative or tumor-induced adhesions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of DL in patients with prior surgery and PC.
Methods: The database of the surgical department of the University Medical Center of Regensburg was reviewed (9/2010-10/2014) selecting for DL in patients with PC. The operative report had a standardized format allowing for the determination of the extent of the intra-abdominal visible area and the extent of tumor on the surface of the small intestine. For the classification we used our own developed score.
Results: DL was performed in 102 patients. The complete abdominal cavity was evaluable in 48%. At least two quadrants and the largest part of the small intestine could be assessed in 70%. 37% of the patients had massive tumor manifestation on the small intestine or its mesentery. PCI (Peritoneal Cancer Index) could not be calculated in 71% of the patients due to incomplete visualization of the abdominal cavity and/or multiple tumor manifestations on the small intestine. 54% of patients were classified as non-resectable and 85% who seemed suitable for cytoreductive surgery underwent a CCR-0 resection and HIPEC.
Conclusions: In spite of prior surgery and PC, DL is frequently possible and a useful tool to define the extent of tumor spread. Lots of patients can be prevented from needless open laparotomy. The extent of tumor involvement of the small intestine seems to be more relevant than calculation of the PCI to determine the potential for complete resection. Therefore, in the presence of adhesions, inspection of the complete abdominal cavity does not offer added clinical benefit and further adhesiolysis can be avoided.
Keywords: Laparoscopy; Operability; Peritoneal carcinomatosis.