Controversies regarding laparoscopic colectomy for malignant diseases.
Surgical investigators have shown that a hemicolectomy can be done laparoscopically. This minimally invasive approach to treat colon cancer potentially reduces hospitalization time, hastens return to normal activity, and reduces health care costs. Hopefully, all of these favorable outcomes can be achieved without compromising cancer control. At present, however, the issues regarding laparoscopic colectomy are not clear, and prospective studies are necessary to validate that this new procedure is superior to open colectomy. Because cancer control might be compromised by this new procedure, laparoscopic colectomy should not be accepted by the surgical community because of the allure of new technology or the hope that it is equivalent to open colectomy in controlling a curable disease. Rather, a randomized trial of laparoscopic colectomy compared with open colectomy is needed to prove that cancer control is not different and that laparoscopic colectomy is cost-effective.
Ota, DM; Nelson, H; Weeks, JC
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