Outcomes of Laparoscopic Versus Open Surgery in Elderly Patients with Rectal Cancer

Document Type : Research Articles


Department of Colorectal Surgery, National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, China.


Background: Laparoscopic colorectal resection has been gaining popularity over the past two decades-and the number of elderly patients with colorectal cancer treated with a surgical modality has gradually increased. However, studies about laparoscopic rectal surgery in elderly patients with long-term oncologic outcomes are limited. In this study, we evaluated the safety and effectiveness of laparoscopic resection in patients with rectal cancer aged ≥80 y. Methods: From 2007-2015, a total of 84 consecutive patients with rectal cancer from a single institution were included, 45 patients undergoing laparoscopic rectal resection were compared with 39 patients undergoing open rectal resection. Results: The two groups were well balanced in terms of age, gender, body mass index, American society of anesthesiologists scores, previous abdominal surgery, neoadjuvant therapy, tumor stage, distance of tumor from the anal verge, and comorbidities. One (2.2%) patient in the laparoscopic group required conversion to open surgery. Laparoscopic surgery was associated with significantly longer operating time (160.1±28.2 versus 148.2±41.3 min; P=0.031), less intraoperative blood loss (80.5±20.9 versus 160.3±42.4 mL; P=0.002), less need of blood transfusion (6.7% versus 20.5%; P=0.003), a shorter time to diet recovery (2.5±1.5 versus 4.9±1.1; P=0.015) and postoperative hospital stay (7.5±4.5 versus 10.8±4.2; P=0.035), lower overall postoperative complication rate (8.9% versus 20.5%; P=0.017), and wound-related complication rate (4.4% versus 10.2%; P=0.013) when compared with open surgery. Specimen length, no. of retrieced lymph nodes, positive distal and circumferential margin rate, mortality rate, and reoperation rate were not significantly different between two groups. The disease-free and overall 5-year survival rates were similar between two groups.Conclusions: Laparoscopic rectal surgery is safe and feasible in patients aged≥80 y and is associated with similar long-term oncologic outcomes when compared with open surgery. 


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