London: A new research by University of Leeds has suggested that laparoscopic or ``keyhole`` surgery is a safe, effective way of removing bowel tumours and should be offered to all patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer.
The study involved around 400 patients with colon cancer and another 400 with rectal cancer.
Initial results from the study, published previously, showed that keyhole surgery was as safe as open surgery for colorectal cancer and that in the short term the cancer was no more likely to return.
However, some surgeons were concerned that the minimally invasive technique would not be as good at removing all cancer cells from tissue around the tumour and that after a few years, the cancer would simply come back. This risk was thought to be highest for patients with rectal cancer.
These latest findings show that this is not the case and that in the hands of an experienced surgeon, the chance of colorectal cancer recurring does not depend on the surgical method.
"There is still a body of surgeons who are sceptical about laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgery and particularly laparoscopic rectal surgery. These long-term follow-up results should now help to convince any remaining sceptics that the minimally invasive technique is safe and effective for most patients with colorectal cancer," said lead author of the paper, David Jayne, senior lecturer in surgery at the University of Leeds.
"Where suitable, laparoscopic surgery should now be offered to all patients with colorectal cancer so that they can benefit from the recognised advantages, such as quicker recovery, shorter hospital stay and earlier return to normal function,” he added.