• Laparoscopic surgery;
  • colorectal surgery


Aim  Single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS) is gaining momentum. The aim of the present study was to compare the outcome of SILS for high anterior resection with that of standard laparoscopic resection (StdLS).

Method  Patients undergoing laparoscopic high anterior resection were prospectively entered into an institutional approved database. Patients treated with SILS were compared with those undergoing StdLS.

Results  Between April 2000 and April 2009, 327 (143 cancer) consecutive unselected patients underwent StdLS; there were three (1%) conversions and 12 (3.6%) covering ileostomies. After April 2009, 55 (29 cancer) consecutive, unselected patients underwent SILS; there were two conversions to a three-port technique (3.6%), no conversions to open resection and two (3.6%) covering ileostomies. There were no significant differences in age, sex, body mass index, hospital of operation or American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) grade between the two groups. The operating time for SILS was significantly shorter (113 ± 44 min for StdLS vs 79 ± 37 min for SILS; P < 0.0001). SILS patients tolerated a normal diet earlier [10 (2–24) h for SILS vs 18 (2–96) h for StdLS] and were discharged faster [1 (1–8) days for SILS vs 3 (1–24) days for StdLS]. There were no significant differences in return to theatre, readmissions or 30-day mortality.

Conclusion  SILS for high anterior resection is feasible, safe and quicker to perform than standard three-port laparoscopic colectomy. It seems to be associated with a faster recovery and earlier discharge.