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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2014, Article ID 581523, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Safety of Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery in a Low-Volume Setting: Review of Early and Late Outcome

Department of Surgery, Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital, University of New South Wales, Eldridge Road, Bankstown, NSW 2200, Australia

Received 21 January 2014; Revised 12 March 2014; Accepted 13 March 2014; Published 3 April 2014

Academic Editor: Antoni Castells

Copyright © 2014 Robert C. Gandy and Christophe R. Berney. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. There is increasing evidence suggesting that the laparoscopic technique is the treatment of choice for large bowel resection, including for malignancy. The purpose of the study was to assess whether general surgeons, with particular skills in advanced laparoscopy, can adequately provide safe laparoscopic colorectal resections in a low-volume setting. Methods. A retrospective review of prospectively collected case series of all laparoscopic colorectal resections performed under the care of a single general surgeon is presented. The primary endpoint was postoperative clinical outcome in terms of morbidity and mortality. Secondary endpoints were adequacy of surgical margins and number of lymph nodes harvested for colorectal cancer cases. Results. Seventy-three patients underwent 75 laparoscopic resections between March, 2003, and May, 2011. There was no elective mortality and the overall 30-day postoperative morbidity was 9.3%. Conversion and anastomotic leakage rates were both 1.3%, respectively. None of the malignant cases had positive margins and the median number of lymph nodes retrieved was 17. Conclusions. Our results support the view that general surgeons with advanced skills in minimally invasive surgery may safely perform laparoscopic colorectal resection in a low-volume setting in carefully selected patient cases.