Published online May 28, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i20.6073
Revised: January 5, 2014
Accepted: February 17, 2014
Published online: May 28, 2014
A number of clinical trials have demonstrated that the laparoscopic approach for colorectal cancer resection provides the same oncologic results as open surgery along with all clinical benefits of minimally invasive surgery. During the last years, a great effort has been made to research for minimizing parietal trauma, yet for cosmetic reasons and in order to further reduce surgery-related pain and morbidity. New techniques, such as natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) and single-incision laparoscopy (SIL) have been developed in order to reach the goal of “scarless” surgery. Although NOTES may seem not fully suitable or safe for advanced procedures, such as colectomies, SIL is currently regarded as the next major advance in the progress of minimally invasive surgical approaches to colorectal disease that is more feasible in generalized use. The small incision through the umbilicus allows surgeons to use familiar standard laparoscopic instruments and thus, perform even complex procedures which require extraction of large surgical specimens or intestinal anastomosis. The cosmetic result from SIL is also better because the only incision is made through the umbilicus which can hide the wound effectively after operation. However, SIL raises a number of specific new challenges compared with the laparoscopic conventional approach. A reduced capacity for triangulation, the repeated conflicts between the shafts of the instruments and the difficulties to achieve a correct exposure of the operative field are the most claimed issues. The use therefore of this new approach for complex colorectal procedures might understandingly be viewed as difficult to implement, especially for oncologic cases.
Core tip: During the last years, a great effort has been made to research for minimizing surgical trauma and stress. A new technique, known as single-incision laparoscopy (SIL) has been developed in order to reach this goal. In particular, SIL is currently regarded as the next major advance in the progress of minimally invasive surgical approaches to colorectal disease. However, SIL raises a number of specific new challenges compared with the laparoscopic conventional approach. We aimed at illustrating the potential benefits or efficacy as well as feasibility and safety of this procedure in the treatment of colorectal cancer.