This study aimed to investigate the short-term outcomes of laparoscopic resection in comparison with those of open resection for colorectal cancer in patients with a history of prior median laparotomy (PML). Eighty-seven consecutive patients (87/1121, 7.8 %) with a history of PML who underwent major colorectal cancer resection were enrolled (laparoscopy, n = 40; open, n = 47). The conversion rate to open surgery was 25 % (n = 10). The laparoscopy group had a higher proportion of female patients (57.5 vs. 36.2 %), a lower rate of American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score for physical status of ≥3 (7.5 vs. 25.5 %), and a lower pT4 tumor rate (15 vs. 38.3 %) than the open resection group. Regarding the reasons for PML, radical hysterectomy with extended lymphadenectomy for gynecologic cancer was more common (32.5 vs. 4.3 %), but gastrointestinal surgeries, such as gastrectomy and colectomy, were less frequent in the laparoscopy group. Regarding intraoperative outcomes, the laparoscopy group showed a similar operative time (197 vs. 204 min), intraoperative enterotomy rate (2.5 vs. 2.1 %), and bowel resection rate (2.5 vs. 2.1 %) with the open resection group. Regarding postoperative outcomes, the laparoscopy group showed a lower complication rate (20 vs. 40.4 %), significantly reduced time to soft diet (5 vs. 7 days), and shorter hospital stay (12 vs. 18 days). Despite the high rate of open conversion, favorable short-term outcomes were observed in the laparoscopic group. Laparoscopy may be chosen as the primary approach in selected patients with a history of non-gastrointestinal PML (prior abdominal surgery for gynecological cancer).
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