Lower local recurrence rates and better overall survival are associated with complete mesocolic excision with central vascular ligation for treatment of colon cancer. To accomplish this, surgeons need to pay special attention to the surgical anatomical planes and vascular anatomy of the colon. However, surgical education in this area has been neglected.OBJECTIVE:
The aim of this study is to define the correct surgical anatomical planes for complete mesocolic excision with central vascular ligation and to demonstrate the correct dissection technique for protecting anatomical structures.DESIGN AND SETTINGS:
Macroscopic and microscopic surgical dissections were performed on 12 cadavers in the anatomy laboratory and on autopsy specimens. The dissections were recorded as video clips.METHODS:
Dissections were performed in accordance with the complete mesocolic excision technique on 10 male and 2 female cadavers. Vascular structures, autonomic nerves, and related fascias were shown. Within each step of the surgical procedure, important anatomical structures were displayed on still images captured from videos by animations.RESULTS:
Three crucial steps for complete mesocolic excision with central vascular ligation are demonstrated on the cadavers: 1) full mobilization of the superior mesenteric root following the embryological planes between the visceral and the parietal fascias; 2) mobilization of the mesocolon from the duodenum and the pancreas and identification of vascular structures, especially the veins around the pancreas; and 3) central vascular ligation of the colonic vessels at their origin, taking into account the vascular variations within the mesocolonic vessels and the autonomic nerves around the superior mesenteric artery.LIMITATIONS:
The limitation of this study was the number of the cadavers used.CONCLUSIONS:
Successful complete mesocolic excision with central vascular ligation depends on an accurate knowledge of the surgical anatomical planes and the vascular anatomy of the colon.