Conversions in laparoscopic surgery for rectal cancer

For the COLOR II study group

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Laparoscopic surgery offers patients with rectal cancer short-term benefits and similar survival rates as open surgery. However, selecting patients who are suitable candidates for laparoscopic surgery is essential to prevent intra-operative conversion from laparoscopic to open surgery. Clinical and pathological variables were studied among patients who had converted laparoscopic surgeries within the COLOR II trial to improve patient selection for laparoscopic rectal cancer surgery. Methods: Between January 20, 2004, and May 4, 2010, 1044 patients with rectal cancer enrolled in the COLOR II trial and were randomized to either laparoscopic or open surgery. Of 693 patients who had laparoscopic surgery, 114 (16 %) were converted to open surgery. Predictive factors were studied using multivariate analyses, and morbidity and mortality rates were determined. Results: Factors correlating with conversion were as follows: age above 65 years (OR 1.9; 95 % CI 1.2–3.0: p = 0.003), BMI greater than 25 (OR 2.7; 95 % CI 1.7–4.3: p < 0.001), and tumor location more than 5 cm from the anal verge (OR 0.5; CI 0.3–0.9). Gender was not significantly related to conversion (p = 0.14). In the converted group, blood loss was greater (p < 0.001) and operating time was longer (p = 0.028) compared with the non-converted laparoscopies. Hospital stay did not differ (p = 0.06). Converted procedures were followed by more postoperative complications compared with laparoscopic or open surgery (p = 0.041 and p = 0.042, respectively). Mortality was similar in the laparoscopic and converted groups. Conclusions: Age above 65 years, BMI greater than 25, and tumor location between 5 and 15 cm from the anal verge were risk factors for conversion of laparoscopic to open surgery in patients with rectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2263-2270
Number of pages8
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • Conversion
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Rectal cancer

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