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Consequences of Conversion in Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery

Gonzalez Rodrigo M.D.; Smith, C. Daniel M.D.; Mason, Edward M.D.; Duncan, Titus M.D.; Wilson, Russell M.D.; Miller, Jacqueline M.D.; Ramshaw, Bruce J. M.D.
Diseases of the Colon & Rectum: February 2006
doi: 10.1007/s10350-005-0258-7
Original Contributions: PDF Only

Introduction: Introduction:Laparoscopic procedures converted to open approaches have been associated with higher complication rates than laparoscopic and open cholecystectomy and appendectomy. Laparoscopic colorectal resections have relatively high conversion rates compared with other laparoscopic procedures. This study was designed to evaluate outcomes of conversions compared with laparoscopic and open colorectal resections.

Methods: Methods:We reviewed 498 consecutive colorectal resections performed between 1995 and 2002. Procedures were divided into laparoscopic colorectal resections, open colorectal resections, or conversions. Demographics, underlying disease, type of procedure performed, and operative outcomes were compared between groups.

Results: Results:Of the 238 laparoscopic procedures performed, 182 were completed laparoscopically and 56 (23 percent) required conversion; 260 were performed open. Conversions were associated with greater blood loss (200 (range, 50-750)vs. 100 (range, 30-900) ml), longer time to first bowel movement (82 (range, 40-504)vs. 72 (range, 12-420) hr), and longer length of stay (6 (range, 2-67)vs.. 5 (range, 2-62) days) than the laparoscopic colorectal resections group. There was no difference in operative time, transfusion requirements, intraoperative and postoperative complications, or mortality between conversions and laparoscopic colorectal resections. Conversions resulted in fewer patients requiring transfusions (4vs. 14 percent), shorter time to first bowel movement (82 (range, 40-504)vs. 93 (range, 24-240) hr), and shorter length of stay (6 (range, 2-67)vs. 7 (range, 2-180) days) than in the open colorectal resections group. There were no differences in complications or mortality between the conversion group and the open colorectal resections group.

Conclusions: Conclusions:Laparoscopic colorectal resections has a relatively high conversion rate; however, the converted cases have outcomes similar to open colorectal resections. In fact, the converted group required fewer blood transfusions than the open group. Experience and good judgment are fundamental for timely conversion of a laparoscopic procedure to open to decrease complication rates. Despite a high conversion rate, surgeons should consider laparoscopic colorectal resections, because even when necessary, conversion does not result in poorer outcomes than laparoscopic colorectal resections or open colorectal resections.

Presented at the meeting of the International Congress and Endo Expo-SLS, Las Vegas, Nevada, September 22 to 25, 2003


© The ASCRS 2006