Reviewing the Management of Obstructive Left Colon Cancer: Assessing the Feasibility of the One-stage Resection and Anastomosis After Intraoperative Colonic Irrigation

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Around 20% of patients with colorectal cancer present with acute colonic obstruction as the first sign of colon cancer. Traditionally, a multi-stage approach was favored but, given the large amount of non-reversal of stoma, the single-stage primary resection and anastomosis after colonic irrigation is becoming more popular. We concluded that it can be done after our analysis at our institution.


The management of obstructive left colon cancer (OLCC) remains debatable with the single-stage procedure of primary colonic anastomosis after cancer resection and on-table intracolonic lavage now being supported.

Patients and Methods:

Patients with acute OLCC who were admitted between January 2008 and January 2015 were distributed into 5 different groups. Group ICI underwent emergency laparotomy for primary anastomosis following colonic resection and intraoperative colonic lavage; Group HP underwent emergency Hartmann's Procedure; Group CON consisted of patients treated by conservative management with subsequent elective open cancer resection; Group COL were colostomy patients; and Group INT consisted of patients who had interventional radiology followed by open elective colon cancer resection. The demographics of the patients and comorbidity, intraoperative data, and postoperative data were collected, with P < .05 as significant.


There were 4 deaths in 138 cases (2.90%). There was only 1 patient who had anastomotic leakage (5.56%) in Group ICI, compared with none in Group HP and Group COL, 1 case in Group INT (7.69%), and 2 cases in Group CON (6.06%) (P > .05). Group INT and Group CON, when compared to the three surgical groups, Groups ICI, Group COL, and Group HP, individually, were statistically significant for the duration of surgery (P < .05).


Primary anastomosis following colonic resection after irrigation can be safely performed in selected patients, with the necessary surgical expertise, with no increased risk in mortality, anastomotic leakage, and other postoperative complications.

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