Complete mesocolic excision and central vascular ligation for colon cancer: Principle, anatomy, surgical technique, and outcomes

Namkyu Kim, YoungWan Kim, Yoon Dae Han, Min Soo Cho, Hyuk Hur, Byung Soh Min, Kang Young Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

27 Citations (Scopus)


Classic colon cancer surgery refers to a wide resection of the tumor-bearing segment and the lymphatics draining along the named artery. The concept of TME has been applied to colon cancer and complete mesocolic excision (CME) in conjuction with central vascular ligation (CVL) has been introduced as the surgical treatment for colon cancer. Here, we discuss appropriate CME procedure with regard to the oncologic backgrounds, essential components, applied anatomy, laparoscopic technique, short-term, and oncologic outcomes. The introduction of CME has improved oncologic outcomes greatly in patients with colon cancer. The improved outcomes with CME can be attributed to underlying sound oncologic principles such as dissection through the proper plane of mesocolic excision, central vascular ligation, and sufficient length of proximal and distal margins. Thereby, CME technique can achieve en bloc removal of the diseased lesion with the increased amount of the colonic mesentery even though the length of for both bowel and mesentery resection remains a matter of debate. CME is a technically demanding operation thus, comprehensive understanding of the applied vascular anatomy is essential for successful CME. Favorable outcomes of open CME have been replicated with a laparoscopic approach. In future perspective, incorporating a structured education program on minimally invasive (laparoscopy or robot) CME would be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-262
Number of pages11
JournalSurgical Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sep 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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