Laparoscopic Mobilization for Resection of the Transverse Colon for Cancer: A Simple, Reproducible Method

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Laparoscopic resection for colorectal cancer by appropriately skilled surgeons is now accepted as safe and oncologically sound. Much of the contemporary debate in this area is regarding appropriate training of surgeons, as there is a steep learning curve. Arguably, the most difficult aspect of laparoscopic colon resection is mobilization of the transverse colon, with division of the middle colic artery. Mobilizing the transverse colon is necessary for many colonic resections, including “introductory” procedures. Our department has a consistent, sequential method for mobilization of the transverse colon with proximal isolation and ligation of the middle colic artery as indicated. This involves using the head, or distal body, of the pancreas as a landmark, for right-sided and left-sided resections, respectively. We believe that this particular methodology is easy to learn and surgically efficient. We also discuss some particular intraoperative problems and scenarios, with suggested solutions.

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