BACKGROUND: Intraoperative colonic irrigation and intraoperative on-table colonoscopy may be useful for a more accurate diagnosis of colorectal cancer before colectomy in patients with obstructive left-sided colorectal cancer, but the clinical benefit of this technique has not been investigated in large-scale studies.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of intraoperative colonic irrigation with a Y-shaped irrigation device and intraoperative colonoscopy in the management of obstructive colorectal cancer in patients undergoing elective surgery.
DESIGN AND SETTING: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients undergoing surgical treatment at a single tertiary care institution in Japan.
PATIENTS AND INTERVENTION: Among 715 consecutive patients with left-sided colorectal cancer, 101 patients (14.1%) with obstructing tumor received intraoperative colonic irrigation and intraoperative colonoscopy before colectomy and primary anastomosis, and 614 patients with nonobstructive colorectal cancer underwent preoperative colonoscopy with mechanical bowel preparation.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Detection rates of proximal synchronous lesions, occurrence of postoperative complications, and changes in the surgical procedure prompted by the results of the intraoperative colonoscopy were evaluated.
RESULTS: Intraoperative colonoscopy detected synchronous adenomatous polyps in 27 patients (26.8%), carcinoma in 4 patients (4%), and obstructive colitis in 2 patients (2%). Findings of the intraoperative colonoscopy prompted changes in surgical procedure in 9 patients (8.9%). The overall morbidity in the intraoperative group was 17%, with anastomotic leakages in 3 patients, wound infection in 5, and postoperative ileus in 3 patients. The risk of these complications was not increased in patients with intraoperative colonoscopy with intraoperative colonic irrigation compared with those receiving preoperative colonoscopy with mechanical bowel preparation. The operation time was 28 minutes longer in the intraoperative than in the preoperative group, but neither the time to start of oral intake nor the length of postoperative hospital stay was significantly different between the 2 groups.
LIMITATIONS: The study is limited by its retrospective nature.
CONCLUSIONS: In patients with obstructive colorectal cancer, intraoperative colonic irrigation with intraoperative colonoscopy is a useful strategy for detecting synchronous lesions located proximally to the obstructing tumor, without increasing patient morbidity.