To compare the perioperative parameters and short-term outcomes of hand-assisted laparoscopic colectomy (HALC) and open colectomy (OC) for the treatment of patients with cancer of the right hemicolon.
Patients who were scheduled to perform right hemicolectomy between August 2009 and December 2010 were randomized into either HALC or OC group. Patients were excluded if they had synchronous cancers, hepatic metastases, acute intestinal obstruction, or intestinal perforations. All the operations in the 2 groups were performed by a single surgical team. Measured outcomes included the demographic variables and perioperative parameters. The former included age, sex, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists class, prior abdominal surgery, distribution of tumors, and histopathologic stage; whereas the latter included length of incision, operative time, estimated blood loss, conversion rate, number of lymph nodes retrieved, postoperative pain score, time to return of bowel function, postoperative complications, duration of hospital stay, and total cost.
One hundred sixteen patients with cancer of the right hemicolon (HALC=59, OC=57) were recruited. The 2 groups of patients were similar in age, sex distribution, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists class, and previous abdominal surgery. No significant difference was observed between the 2 groups in terms of distribution of tumors and the final histopathologic staging. HALC had a significantly shorter incision length and longer operative time than OC. Patients in the HALC group had significantly less operative blood loss, less pain and earlier passage of flatus after operation than those in the OC group. The number of lymph nodes recovered in the specimen and the overall postoperative complications was comparable in the 2 groups. The postoperative duration of hospital stay was significantly shorter in the HALC group, whereas the median overall costs in the HALC group were significantly higher than that in the OC group.
The results from the present study demonstrate that the HALC is a valid surgical approach for cancer of the right hemicolon that retains the benefits of minimally invasive surgery. We believe that this technique is a safe, useful, and feasible method for patients with right-sided colonic cancer. If practiced more, it might be advocated as a "bridge" between traditional laparoscopic surgery and conventional open procedures.