The Role of Laparoscopy in the Treatment of Anastomotic Leaks After Minimally Invasive Colorectal Resections for Cancer

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Abstract

Aim of the Study:

The aim of this study was to describe the role of laparoscopy in the treatment of leaks occurring after minimally invasive colorectal resections.

Materials and Methods:

Thirty-four of 566 consecutive patients who underwent minimally invasive colorectal resection for cancer between January 2004 and December 2012 and who showed signs of anastomotic leakage (6%) requiring reoperation were studied using a prospectively maintained database. Patient characteristics, clinical signs, the surgical approach, the role of laparoscopy, operative and postoperative results, and the rate of permanent stoma were analyzed.

Results:

The median time to diagnosis of an anastomotic leak after surgery was 5.5 days. The median time to reoperation from the diagnosis of leakage was 2 days. Leaks were treated laparoscopically in 21 of 34 (61.8%) patients. Anastomoses were dismantled in 14 patients (41.2%) and the procedure was performed laparoscopically in 28.6% of the cases. The postoperative morbidity was 55.9%, the perioperative mortality 5.7%, and the rate of permanent stoma was 8.8%.

Conclusions:

Laparoscopic reoperation can be performed in most cases of anastomotic leaks occurring after minimally invasive colorectal resection for cancer. Anastomosis can be dismantled laparoscopically in 28.6% of the cases. A permanent stoma was necessary only in patients with terminal stomas.

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