Published online Jul 7, 2008. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.4065
Revised: May 12, 2008
Accepted: May 19, 2008
Published online: July 7, 2008
AIM: To investigate the feasibility and safety of monopolar electrocautery shovel (ES) in laparoscopic total mesorectal excision (TME) with anal sphincter preservation for rectal cancer in order to reduce the cost of the laparoscopic operation, and to compare ES with the ultrasonically activated scalpel (US).
METHODS: Forty patients with rectal cancer, who underwent laparoscopic TME with anal sphincter preservation from June 2005 to June 2007, were randomly divided into ultrasonic scalpel group and monopolar ES group, prospectively. White blood cells (WBC) were measured before and after operation, operative time, blood loss, pelvic volume of drainage, time of anal exhaust, visual analogue scales (VAS) and surgery-related complications were recorded.
RESULTS: All the operations were successful; no one was converted to open procedure. No significant differences were observed in terms of preoperative and postoperative d 1 and d 3 WBC counts (P = 0.493, P = 0.375, P = 0.559), operation time (P = 0.235), blood loss (P = 0.296), anal exhaust time (P = 0.431), pelvic drainage volume and VAS in postoperative d 1 (P = 0.431, P = 0.426) and d 3 (P = 0.844, P = 0.617) between ES group and US group. The occurrence of surgery-related complications such as anastomotic leakage and wound infection was the same in the two groups.
CONCLUSION: ES is a safe and feasible tool as same as US used in laparoscopic TME with anal sphincter preservation for rectal cancer on the basis of the skillful laparoscopic technique and the complete understanding of laparoscopic pelvic anatomy. Application of ES can not only reduce the operation costs but also benefit the popularization of laparoscopic operation for rectal cancer patients.