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26.06.2019 | Original Article

Complete mesocolic excision does not increase short-term complications in laparoscopic left-sided colectomies: a comparative retrospective single-center study

Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery
Maxime Dewulf, Alain Kalmar, Bert Vandenberk, Filip Muysoms, Barbara Defoort, Donald Claeys, Pieter Pletinckx
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Since the implementation of total mesorectal excision (TME) in rectal cancer surgery, oncological outcomes improved dramatically. With the technique of complete mesocolic excision (CME) with central vascular ligation (CVL), the same surgical principles were introduced to the field of colon cancer surgery. Until now, current literature fails to invariably demonstrate its oncological superiority when compared to conventional surgery, and there are some concerns on increased morbidity. The aim of this study is to compare short-term outcomes after left-sided laparoscopic CME versus conventional surgery.


In this retrospective analysis, data on all laparoscopic sigmoidal resections performed during a 3-year period (October 2015 to October 2018) at our institution were collected. A comparative analysis between the CME group—for sigmoid colon cancer—and the non-CME group—for benign disease—was performed.


One hundred sixty-three patients met the inclusion criteria and were included for analysis. Data on 66 CME resections were compared with 97 controls. Median age and operative risk were higher in the CME group. One leak was observed in the CME group (1/66) and 3 in the non-CME group (3/97), representing no significant difference. Regarding hospital stay, postoperative complications, surgical site infections, and intra-abdominal collections, no differences were observed. There was a slightly lower reoperation (1.5% versus 6.2%, p = 0.243) and readmission rate (4.5% versus 6.2%, p = 0.740) in the CME group during the first 30 postoperative days. Operation times were significantly longer in the CME group (210 versus 184 min, p < 0.001), and a trend towards longer pathological specimens in the CME group was noted (21 vs 19 cm, p = 0.059).


CME does not increase short-term complications in laparoscopic left-sided colectomies. Significantly longer operation times were observed in the CME group.

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