Purpose: This study was designed to compare short-term outcomes after hand-assisted laparoscopic vs. straight laparoscopic colorectal surgery.
Methods: Eleven surgeons at five centers participated in a prospective, randomized trial of patients undergoing elective laparoscopic sigmoid/left colectomy and total colectomy. The study was powered to detect a 30-minute reduction in operative time between hand-assisted laparoscopic and straight laparoscopic groups.
Results: There were 47 hand-assisted patients (33 sigmoid/left colectomy, 14 total colectomy) and 48 straight laparoscopic patients (33 sigmoid/left colectomy, 15 total colectomy). There were no differences in the patient age, sex, body mass index, previous surgery, diagnosis, and procedures performed between the hand-assisted and straight laparoscopic groups. Resident participation in the procedures was similar for all groups. The mean operative time (in minutes) was significantly less in the hand-assisted laparoscopic group for both the sigmoid colectomy (175 +/- 58 vs. 208 +/- 55; P = 0.021) and total colectomy groups (time to colectomy completion, 127 +/- 31 vs. 184 +/- 72; P = 0.015). There were no apparent differences in the time to return of bowel function, tolerance of diet, length of stay, postoperative pain scores, or narcotic usage between the hand-assisted laparoscopic and straight laparoscopic groups. There was one (2 percent) conversion in the hand-assisted laparoscopic group and six (12.5 percent) in the straight laparoscopic group (P = 0.11). Complications were similar in both groups (hand-assisted, 21 percent vs. straight laparoscopic, 19 percent; P = 0.68).
Conclusions: In this prospective, randomized study, hand-assisted laparoscopic colorectal surgery resulted in significantly shorter operative times while maintaining similar clinical outcomes as straight laparoscopic techniques for patients undergoing left-sided colectomy and total abdominal colectomy.
(C) The ASCRS 2008