Article Abstract

Synchronous resection of colorectal primary and hepatic metastasis

Authors: Bridget N. Fahy, Craig P. Fischer


Up to 50% of the over 140,000 new colorectal cancer patients will present with synchronous colorectal cancer and liver metastasis. Surgical management of patients with resectable synchronous colorectal hepatic metastasis is complex and must consider multiple factors, including the presence of symptoms, location of primary tumor and liver metastases, extent of tumor (both primary and metastatic), patient performance status, and underlying comorbidities. Possible approaches to this select group of patients have included a synchronous resection of the colorectal primary and the hepatic metastases or a staged resection approach. The available literature regarding the safety of synchronous versus staged approaches confirms that a simultaneous resection may be performed in selected patients with acceptable morbidity and mortality. Perioperative mortality when minor hepatectomies are combined with colorectal resection is consistently ≤5%. Perioperative morbidity varies considerably following both synchronous and staged resections. However, the bulk of the existing literature confirms that simultaneous resections are both feasible and safe when hepatic resections are limited to <3 segments. Data regarding the oncologic outcomes following synchronous versus staged resections for Stage IV colorectal cancer are more limited than those available regarding postoperative morbidity and mortality. The available data suggest equivalent overall and disease-free survival regardless of timing of resection. Experience with minimally invasive combined colorectal and hepatic resections is extremely limited to date and consists exclusively of small single center series. The potential benefits of a minimally invasive approach will await the results of larger studies.