Objective: The aim of this review was to evaluate the feasibility, safety, and potential benefits of single-incision laparoscopic colectomy (SILC).
Methods: We conducted a comprehensive review for the years 1983 to March 2011 to retrieve all relevant articles.
Results: A total of 23 studies with 378 patients undergoing SILC were reviewed. All studies except 2 used a commercially available single-port device. Range of body mass index was 20.9 to 30.0 kg/m2. Ranges of operative times and estimated blood losses were 83 to 225 minutes and 0 to 115 mL, respectively. Of 378 cases, a total of 6 cases (1.6%) were converted to open, 6 (1.6%) to hand-assisted laparoscopic (HALC), and 14 (4.0%) to conventional (multiport) laparoscopic colectomy (MLC) (overall conversion rate, 6.9%). An additional laparoscopic port was used in 4.9% (12/247) cases. Range of harvested lymph nodes number for malignant cases was 13.5 to 27 and surgical margins were negative in all cases. Overall mortality and morbidity rates were 0.5% (2/378) and 12.9% (45/349), respectively. The length of hospital stay (LOS) varied across reports (1.9–9.8 days). Among 4 case-matched studies, 2 showed shorter LOS after SILC than after HALC (2.7 vs 3.3 days) or after MLC/HALC (3.4 vs 4.6/4.9 days). Furthermore, one of these studies reported that maximum pain score on postoperative days 1 and 2 was significantly lower in SILS than in MLC and HALC.
Conclusions: In early series of highly selected patients, SILC appears to be feasible and safe when performed by surgeons who are highly skilled in laparoscopy. Despite technical difficulties, there may be potential benefits associated with SILC over MLC/HALC but it is yet to be proven objectively.