Colon Cancer in the Splenic Flexure: Comparison of Short-term Outcomes of Laparoscopic and Open Colectomy

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Laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer in the splenic flexure (SF cancer) is technically demanding and has not been evaluated in randomized clinical trials. This study aimed to evaluate the safety and feasibility of laparoscopic surgery for SF cancer.


Thirty-three patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery for SF cancer (LAC group) were retrospectively compared with 22 patients undergoing open surgery for SF cancer (OC group) between April 2003 and June 2010.


Left hemicolectomy was the most performed procedure in both groups (79% vs. 82%). Median operating time was significantly longer (209 vs. 178 min) and estimated blood loss was significantly lower (15 vs. 113 mL) in the LAC group than in the OC group. Conversion to open surgery was needed for 1 (3%) patient because of bleeding near the pancreas. Tumor stage was more advanced in the OC group than in the LAC group, but N stages were similar between groups. The median number of lymph nodes harvested was significantly higher in the LAC group than in the OC group (16 vs. 12). The rate of postoperative complications was significantly lower in the LAC group than in the OC group (6% vs. 36%). Time to flatus (1 vs. 3 d), time to liquid diet (2 vs. 5 d), and hospital stay (12 vs. 16 d) were significantly shorter in the LAC group than in the OC group.


Laparoscopic surgery for SF cancer is feasible.

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