The aim of this study was to compare the short-term and mid-term effects of laparoscopic intersphincteric resection with the conventional open approach for patients with low rectal cancer through a meta-analysis.
The PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane, and Ovid databases were searched for eligible studies until March 2017. Operation time, blood loss, circumferential resection margin-positive rate, distal margin length, number of resected lymph nodes, diverting stoma rate, postoperative overall morbidity, anastomotic leakage, and hospital stay were the main short-term effect endpoints. We also examined disease-free survival, overall survival, local recurrence, and post-operational anal function as secondary outcomes to evaluate the mid-term effects of laparoscopic surgery.
Five studies involving 620 patients were included in the analyses. Compared with the open approach, the laparoscopic ISR had less blood loss (weighted mean difference [WMD] = − 214.65 ml, 95% CI [− 370.44, − 196.13], p < 0.01), less postoperative overall morbidity (OR = 0.58, 95% CI [0.40, 0.86], p < 0.01), and shorter duration of hospital stay (WMD = − 5.87 days, 95% CI [− 11.35, − 0.40], p < 0.05); however, the operation time was significantly longer in the laparoscopic group (WMD = 47.34 min, 95% CI [4.10, 90.58], p < 0.05). No other significant differences were observed.
Laparoscopic ISR for low rectal cancer offers fewer complications and faster recovery, with similar operation quality and mid-term oncological results than the conventional approach. Although this technique is comparatively more complex than the conventional approach and requires practice, laparoscopic ISR shows great potential as a surgical option and deserves further clinical study.
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- Laparoscopic intersphincteric resection versus an open approach for low rectal cancer: a meta-analysis
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