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BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to critically review the experience of our unit to identify all the risk factors
that can predict the intra-operative and post-operative complications, early and late, that are related to the procedure.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 293 patients who had undergone laparoscopic colectomy at the
General Surgery and Organ Transplantation Unit of the University Hospital of Parma between January 2001 and
September 2009. Preoperative tumour staging was performed for all patients by pancolonoscopic examination, performed
preferably by the operating surgeon, thoracic-abdominal-pelvic CT, and, for rectal neoplasia, with further input from
endoscopic ultrasound and/or pelvic magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. The parameters evaluated for each patient included
age, sex, body mass index (BMI), ASA score, preoperative blood tests, associated comorbidities, cancer, others surgical
procedures, operative time, laparotomy conversion rate, intra- and post-operative complications, any returns to the operating
theatre, length of hospital stay and mortality.
RESULTS: A total of 293 laparoscopic colectomy procedures were performed in our unit between January 2001 and
September 2009; we analysed 262 of the 293 cases treated, since the data were incomplete and not correctly stored for
31 cases. The overall rate of intra- and post-operative complications was 22.9% (60/262). In 40 cases (40/262, 15.26%),
the complications were surgical, and in the other 20 cases (7.63%) they were medical;mortality rate of 0.38% (1/262).
CONCLUSIONS: Rectal resection is significantly associated with a greater number of intra- and post-operative complications
than the other surgical procedures examined. The laparoscopic approach maintains its benefits even in patients with
known preoperative comorbidities and constitutes a feasible procedure even in patients who are obese and/or with ASA
status ≥ III.