Laparoscopic colectomy for transverse colon carcinoma: a surgical challenge but oncologically feasible


Correspondence to: J. M. Fernández-Cebrián, Chief of Gastrointestinal Surgery Unit. Hospital Universitario Fundación Alcorcón Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. C/ Budapest, 1 -28922, Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain.




The aim of the study was to assess the safety and feasibility of laparoscopic surgery for transverse colon cancer and to compare the clinicopathological outcome with that of conventional open surgery.


From March 1998 to December 2009, 1253 patients with colorectal tumours were operated on, 564 laparoscopically. There were 154 cases of transverse colon cancer, 86 of which were included in the study. Details were collected on age, sex, body mass index (BMI), operation time, blood loss, time to first flatus, time to resume a liquid diet, postoperative length of hospital stay, complications, TNM stage, tumour size, distal resection margin, proximal resection margin, number of nodes harvested and surgical procedure. Laparoscopic and open surgical removal was compared.


No significant differences were found between laparoscopic and conventional groups in age, sex, BMI, operation time or postoperative length of hospital stay. The mean blood loss during the operations was significantly less in the laparoscopic group (105.9 ± 140.9 ml vs 305.7 ± 325.3 ml; P = 0.05). The time to the first flatus was shorter (2.1 ± 0.3 days vs 3.8 ± 3.0 days; P = 0.043) and diet was started earlier (3.1 ± 1.4 days vs 3.4 ± 1.5 days) in the laparoscopic group. No significant differences in tumour size, proximal resection margin or number of lymph nodes were observed. The mean distal resection margin was not statistically different (10.3 ± 4.5 cm vs 8.8 ± 4.9 cm). At a mean follow up of 33 ± 2.3 months, nonport-site metastases occurred in eight patients and locoregional recurrence occurred in three, with no significant difference between the groups. The 3-year cumulative overall survival rate was 78%, and the disease-free survival rate was 69%.


There was no difference in the outcome of laparoscopic and open surgery for transverse colon cancer, including the cancer-specific outcome.