Feasibility of purely laparoscopic resection of locally advanced rectal cancer in obese patients
1 Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Roger Williams Medical Center, Boston University, Prior 4, 825 Chalkstone Avenue, Providence, RI, 02908, USA
2 Department of Surgery Hospital of Saint Raphael, Affiliate of Yale School of Medicine, 1450 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA
World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2012, 10:147 doi:10.1186/1477-7819-10-147Published: 16 July 2012
Totally laparoscopic (without hand-assist) resection for rectal cancer continues to evolve, and both obesity and locally advanced disease are perceived to add to the complexity of these procedures. There is a paucity of data on the impact of obesity on perioperative and oncologic outcomes for totally-laparoscopic rectal cancer resection (TLRR) for locally advanced disease.
In order to identify potential limitations of TLRR, a single-institution database was queried and identified 26 patients that underwent TLRR for locally advanced rectal cancers (T3/T4) over a three-year period. Patients were classified as normal-weight (NW, body mass index (BMI)=18.5 to 24.9kg/m2), overweight (OW, BMI=25 to 29.9kg/m2) and obese (OB, BMI >/= 30kg/m2). Perioperative outcomes, lymph node harvest and margin status were assessed.
Seven patients were classified as NW (26.9%), 12 as OW (46.2%) and 7 as OB (26.9%). Age, tumor stage, gender and American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) scores were similar. OB had more co-morbidities (median 3.0, range 0.0 to 5.0 vs. 2.0, range 0.0 to 3.0 for NW and 1.0, range 0.0 to 3.0 for OW). Five patients had tumors <5cm from anal verge (NW=2; OW=1; OB=2). A median of 19.0, range 9.0 to 32.0; 20.0, range 9.0 to 46.0 and 19.0, range 15.0 to 31.0 lymph nodes were retrieved in the NW, OW and OB, respectively (Not Significant (NS)). Median node ratios for NW, OW and OB were 0.32, 0.13 and 0.00, respectively. All groups had negative proximal and distal margins. Radial margins were negative for 100% of NW, 83.3% of OW and 85.7% of OB (NS). Conversion rates were 14.3% for NW, 16.7% for OW & 0% for OB (NS). NW, OW and OB had complication rates of 28.3%, 33.3% and 14.3%, respectively. Median operative time, median estimated blood loss and median length of hospital stay were similar for all groups.
The perceived limitation that obesity would have on TLRR was not demonstrated by the analyzed data. Although our findings are limited by the modest sized cohort, the results suggest that it is reasonable to offer TLRR to obese patients with rectal cancer.