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Il Giornale di Chirurgia

Colorectal cancer in aged patients. Toward the routine treatment through laparoscopic surgical approach

Original Article, 9 - 14
doi: 10.11138/gchir/2015.36.1.009
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Aim. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common malignancies in general population. The incidence seems to be higher in older age. Surgery remains the treatment of choice and laparoscopic approach offers numerous benefits. We report our personal experience in elderly patients operated on for colorectal cancer with laparoscopic resection.
Patients and methods. From January 2003 to September 2013, out of 160 patients aged 65 years or older and operated with minimally invasive techniques, 30 cases affected by colorectal cancer and operated on with laparoscopic approach were analyzed in this study.
Results. Male/female ratio was 1.35 and mean age 72 years. Constipation, weight loss, anemia and rectal bleeding were the most commonly reported symptoms. Lesions involved descending-sigmoid colon in 53% of cases, rectum in 37% and ascending colon in 10%. Among laparoscopic colo-rectal operations laparoscopic left colectomy was the most frequently performed, followed by right colectomy, abdominoperineal resection and Hartmann procedure. Operative times ranged from 3 to 5 hours depending on surgical procedure performed. Mean hospital stay was 6 days (range 4–9). Conversion to open approach occurred only in a case of laparoscopic right colectomy (3%) for uncontrolled bleeding. A single case of mortality was reported. In two cases (7%) anastomotic leakage was observed, conservatively treated in one patient and requiring reoperation in the other one.
Conclusions. Laparoscopic colorectal surgery is feasible and effective for malignancies in elderly population offering several advantages including immunologic and oncologic ones. However an experienced surgical team is essential in reducing risks and complications.

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