Intracorporeal anastomosis versus extracorporeal anastomosis for minimally invasive colectomy

Rebecca F. Brown, Robert K. Cleary


Outcomes advantages for the minimally invasive approach to colon and rectal surgery have been clearly described since the original report of a laparoscopic colectomy in 1991. Advancements in minimally invasive options for colon and rectal surgery have produced the need for critical evaluation of alternative and evolving techniques. The evolution and increased adoption of the minimally invasive robotic platform has allowed the intracorporeal anastomosis, previously described with the laparoscopic approach, to be more widely available to surgeon skill sets because of robotic articulating instruments and ergonomic advantages. Studies comparing intra- and extracorporeal techniques for laparoscopic right colectomy have demonstrated some outcomes advantages for the intracorporeal approach that include fewer conversions-to-open, fewer postoperative complications, and shorter hospital length of stay. Recent robotic-assisted comparisons have also shown an intracorporeal advantage and have extended the analysis to left-sided colorectal resections. Further upgrades in minimally invasive options and techniques warrant further evidence-based considerations for surgeons choosing between these options and techniques.

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