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07.08.2018 | How-I-Do-It Article | Ausgabe 6/2018

Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery 6/2018

How we do it: totally laparoscopic complete mesocolon excision for splenic flexure cancer

Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery > Ausgabe 6/2018
Paolo Panaccio, Tommaso Grottola, Marco Ricciardiello, Pierluigi di Sebastiano, F. Francesco di Mola



Splenic flexure (SF) cancer is not a common condition and its treatment is still under discussion. Although laparoscopic surgery is well accepted for the treatment of colon cancer at any stage, complete mesocolon excision (CME) with selective vascular ligation using the laparoscopic approach for SF cancer remains technically demanding and represents a real challenge for surgeons.


We present a single-institution experience of laparoscopic CME for SF cancer. Intra-operative, pathologic, and post-operative data of patients who underwent laparoscopic SF resection were reviewed to assess the technical feasibility and oncologic safety. Technical features, histopathology, morbidity, and mortality were evaluated.


From February 2015 to October 2017, a minimally invasive approach was proposed to 17 patients (M/F 14/3) affected by splenic flexure cancer. In all patients, the procedure was completed by laparoscopy. The anastomosis was completed intra-corporeally in 89% of cases. The distal margin was 3.1 ± 2.6 cm and the proximal margin was 6.5 ± 3.3 cm from the tumor site. The number of mean harvested nodes was 13.9 ± 7. The mean operative time was 215.5 ± 65 min, and blood loss was 80 ± 27. In one case, a laparoscopic partial gastrectomy was associated due to tumor invasion. The mean post-operative stay was 6.7 ± 3.3 days. Readmission was necessary for two patients. No major morbidity was recorded.


Despite the wide spread and increasing confidence in laparoscopic colectomy, SF resection remains one of the most challenging procedures in colorectal surgery with a complex learning curve. SF resection with CME and CVL is feasible and safe for the treatment of early-stage and locally advanced SF cancer.

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