Gastrointestinal recovery after laparoscopic colectomy: Results of a prospective, observational, multicenter study

Conor P. Delaney, Peter W. Marcello, Toyooki Sonoda, Paul Wise, Joel Bauer, Lee Techner

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75 Scopus citations


Background Although evidence suggests that laparoscopic colectomy (LC) results in faster gastrointestinal (GI) recovery than open bowel resection, previous studies were performed at single institutions or generally not controlled for diet introduction or perioperative care, making the results difficult to interpret. A prospective, observational, multicenter study was planned to investigate GI recovery, length of hospital stay (LOS), and postoperative ileus (POI)-related morbidity after LC. Methods Patients scheduled to undergo LC or handassisted laparoscopic (HAL) bowel resection and to receive opioid-based postoperative intravenous patient-controlled analgesia were enrolled in 16 U.S. centers. The study design was similar to that for trials of alvimopan phase 3 open laparotomy bowel resection using a standardized accelerated postoperative care pathway. The primary end points were time to upper and lower GI recovery (GI-2: toleration of solid food and bowel movement) and postoperative LOS. The secondary end points included POIrelated morbidity (postoperative nasogastric tube insertion or investigator-assessed POI resulting in prolonged hospital stay or readmission), conversion rate, and protocol-defined prolonged POI (GI-2>5 postoperative days). Results In this study, 148 patients received hemicolectomy by the LC (42 left and 67 right) orHAL (39 left) approach. The conversion rate was 18.8% (25.4% LC left, 17.3% HAL left, 15%LC right). Themean time to GI-2 recovery was 4.4 days, and the mean postoperative LOS was 4.9 days, neither of which varied substantially by surgical approach. Prolonged POI occurred for 15 patients (10.1%), and POI-related morbidity occurred for 17 patients (11.5%). No patients were readmitted because of POI, whereas 3 patients (2%) were readmitted for all other causes. Conclusions Mean GI recovery and LOS after LC were accelerated compared with those for patients in open laparotomy bowel resection clinical trials or those reported in large hospital databases (0.7 and 1.7-2.2 days, respectively). Overall POI-related morbidity was similar between the open bowel resection and LC populations, demonstrating that POI continues to present with important morbidity regardless of the surgical approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-661
Number of pages9
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Colectomy
  • Gastrointestinal recovery
  • Laparoscopic
  • Postoperative ileus


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