A prospective comparison of laparoscopic exposure techniques for rectal mobilization and sigmoid resection

K. D. Horvath, R. L. Whelan, B. Lier, S. Viscomi, L. Barry, M. Bessler, K. A. Buck, M. R. Treat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: We determined the efficacy of a pneumoperitoneum and a gasless abdominal wall lifting device in providing exposure for low rectal mobilization and sigmoid resection in a swine model. The results of these laparoscopic techniques were compared with those obtained using standard open surgical methods. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a prosective randomized nonblinded trial. Twenty-four adult female pigs were randomized into three groups depending on exposure technique: group 1, open (n=6); group 2, carbon dioxide (n=6) or helium (n=6) pneumoperitoneum; and group 3, a mechanical abdominal wall lifting device (n=6). A low rectal mobilization and sigmoid resection with a double-stapled, circular, end-to-end anastomosis was performed in all pigs. In group 2, a laparoscopic-assisted approach was used. Parameters assessed included length of operation, length of the colonic specimen, number of lymph nodes per specimen, and extent of anterior and posterior rectal mobilization (centimeters from the anal verge). RESULTS: Operative times were significantly shorter for group I than for group 2; no significant differences were found between the two laparoscopic subgroups. No significant difference was found in length of the colonic specimen or in number of lymph nodes harvested for each group. Extent of anterior and posterior rectal mobilization was also not significantly different for the three groups. Although mean mobilization lengths for each group were not significantly different, the range of values was broader in the laparoscopic groups. CONCLUSIONS: A comparable mobilization and bowel resection can be performed laparoscopically, regardless of the exposure technique used. Gasless laparoscopy may prove useful in patients in whom pneumoperitoneum is contraindicated; it will not replace pneumoperitoneum as the only method for obtaining laparoscopic exposure because of the ease of use and frank superiority of the pneumoperitoneum in most circumstances. Abdominal wall lifting devices seem to be a reasonable alternative to pneumoperitoneum for sigmoid resection and rectal mobilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-512
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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