Role of Minimally Invasive Surgery in the Reoperative Abdomen or Pelvis

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Laparoscopy has become widely accepted as the preferred surgical approach in the management of benign and malignant colorectal diseases. Once considered a relative contraindication in patients with prior abdominal surgery (PAS), as surgeons have continued to gain expertise in advanced laparoscopy, minimally invasive approaches have been increasingly incorporated in the reoperative abdomen and pelvis. Although earlier studies have described conversion rates, most contemporary series evaluating the impact of PAS in laparoscopic colorectal resection have reported equivalent conversion and morbidity rates between reoperative and non-reoperative cases, and series evaluating the impact of laparoscopy in reoperative cases have demonstrated improved short-term outcomes with laparoscopy. The data overall highlight the importance of case selection, careful preoperative preparation and planning, and the critical role of surgeons' expertise in advanced laparoscopic techniques. Challenges to the widespread adoption of minimally invasive techniques in reoperative colorectal cases include the longer learning curve and longer operative time. However, with the steady increase in adoption of minimally invasive techniques worldwide, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is likely to continue to be applied in the management of increasingly complex reoperative colorectal cases in an effort to improve patient outcomes. In the hands of experienced MIS surgeons and in carefully selected cases, laparoscopy is both safe and efficacious for reoperative procedures in the abdomen and pelvis, with measurable short-term benefits.

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