Hand-assisted laparoscopy leads to efficient colorectal cancer surgery

Sonia T. Orcutt, Christy L. Marshall, Courtney J. Balentine, Celia N. Robinson, Daniel A. Anaya, Avo Artinyan, David H. Berger, Daniel Albo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Laparoscopic-assisted (LA) colorectal resections have improved short-term outcomes compared with open resections. Lack of tactile feedback, though, has led to lengthy operations and high conversion rates with attendant adverse effects on patients. Hand-assisted laparoscopy (HAL), in contrast, provides tactile feedback while still being minimally invasive. We hypothesize that HAL compared with LA for colorectal cancer resections will be associated with lower conversion rates and decreased operative times, without compromising the advantages of laparoscopy. Materials and methods: We performed a retrospective case-matched study of patients undergoing LA or HAL colorectal cancer resections from 2002 to 2010, using a prospectively maintained colorectal cancer database at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Short-term outcomes analyzed (using the Wilcoxon signed rank and McNemar's tests) included operative and perioperative variables and surrogate markers of adequacy of oncologic care. Results: Forty-seven LA patients were matched 1:1 by age and resection with 47 HAL patients. Patients in the HAL group had significantly lower blood loss (100 versus 150 cc, P = 0.04), operative times (206 versus 252 min, P = 0.002), and conversion rates (6% versus 38%, P < 0.0005). They also spent fewer days in the intensive care unit (0 versus 1, P = 0.004) and had quicker return of flatus (3 versus 4 d, P = 0.03). HAL resulted in more lymph nodes resected (21 versus 15, P = 0.03) and a more adequate lymph node harvest (98% versus 77%, P = 0.01). Conclusions: HAL is associated with improved operative efficiency, conversion rates, and lymphadenectomy as compared with LA colorectal cancer resections. HAL should be considered in the management of colorectal cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E53-E58
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Hand-assisted laparoscopy
  • Operative efficiency
  • Short-term outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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