The recent introduction of an intraoperative near infrared fluorescence (INIF) imaging system installed on the da Vinci Si® robotic system has enabled surgeons to identify intravascular NIF signals in real time. This technology is useful in identifying hidden vessels and assessing blood supply to bowel segments. In this study, we report 3 cases of patients with rectal cancer who underwent robotic low anterior resection (LAR) with INIF imaging for the first time in Asia. In September 2012, robotic-assisted rectal resection with INIF imaging was performed on three consecutive rectal cancer patients. LAR was performed in 2 cases, and abdominoperineal resection was performed in the third case. INIF imaging was used to identify the left colic branch of the inferior mesenteric artery and to assess blood supply to the distal rectum. We evaluated the utility of INIF imaging in performing robotic-assisted colorectal procedures. Our preliminary results suggest that this technique is safe and effective, and that INIF imaging may be a useful tool to colorectal surgeons.
Robotics; fluorescence; indocyanine green; rectal neoplasms
The optimal time between neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) and surgery for rectal cancer has been debated. This study evaluated the influence of this interval on oncological outcomes.
We compared postoperative complications, pathological downstaging, disease recurrence, and survival in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer who underwent surgical resection <8 weeks (group A, n = 105) to those who had surgery ≥8 weeks (group B, n = 48) after neoadjuvant CRT.
Of 153 patients, 117 (76.5%) were male and 36 (23.5%) were female. Mean age was 57.8 years (range, 28 to 79 years). There was no difference in the rate of sphincter preserving surgery between the two groups (group A, 82.7% vs. group B, 77.6%; P = 0.509). The longer interval group had decreased postoperative complications, although statistical significance was not reached (group A, 28.8% vs. group B, 14.3%; P = 0.068). A total of 111 (group A, 75 [71.4%] and group B, 36 [75%]) patients were downstaged and 26 (group A, 17 [16.2%] and group B, 9 [18%]) achieved pathological complete response (pCR). There was no significant difference in the pCR rate (P = 0.817). The longer interval group experienced significant improvement in the nodal (N) downstaging rate (group A, 46.7% vs. group B, 66.7%; P = 0.024). The local recurrence (P = 0.279), distant recurrence (P = 0.427), disease-free survival (P = 0.967), and overall survival (P = 0.825) rates were not significantly different.
It is worth delaying surgical resection for 8 weeks or more after completion of CRT as it is safe and is associated with higher nodal downstaging rates.
Rectal neoplasm; Neoadjuvant therapy; Chemoradiotherapy; Preoperative period; Surgery
A parastomal hernia is the most common surgical complication following stoma formation. As the field of laparoscopic surgery advances, different laparoscopic approaches to repair of parastomal hernias have been developed. Recently, the Sugarbaker technique has been reported to have lower recurrence rates compared to keyhole techniques. As far as we know, the Sugarbaker technique has not yet been performed in Korea. We herein present a case report of perhaps the first laparoscopic parastomal hernia repair with a modified Sugarbaker technique to be successfully carried out in Korea. A 79-year-old woman, who underwent an abdominoperineal resection for an adenocarcinoma of the rectum 9 years ago, presented with a large parastomal and incisional hernias, and was treated with a laparoscopic repair with a modified Sugarbaker technique. Six months after surgery, follow-up with the patient has shown no evidence of recurrence.
Laparoscopy; Abdominal hernia; Surgical stomas; Surgical procedures; Minimally invasive
The aim of this study is to assess the effects of age on the short-term outcomes of a laparoscopic resection of colorectal cancer in elderly (≥75 years old), as compared with younger (<75 years old), patients.
A retrospective analysis of patients who underwent laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer between January 2007 and December 2009 was performed. There were two groups: age <75 years old (group A) and age ≥75 years old (group B). The perioperative outcomes between group A and group B were compared.
The study included 824 patients in group A and 92 patients in group B. The body mass index (BMI) and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score were significantly different between group B and group A (BMI: 22.5 vs. 23.5, P = 0.002; ASA score: 1.88 vs. 1.48, P = 0.001). Mean operating times were similar between the groups (325.4 minutes vs. 351.6 minutes, P = 0.07). We observed a higher overall complication rate in group B than in group A (12.0% vs. 6.2%, P = 0.047), but the number of severe complications of Accordion Severity Classification ≥3 (those that required an invasive procedure) was not significantly different between the two groups (6.5% vs. 3.4%, P = 0.142). There was no significant difference in the length of hospital stay (13.0 days vs. 12.0 days, P = 0.053).
Although the elderly patients had a significantly higher overall postoperative complication rate, no significant difference was seen in either the number of severe complications of Accordion Severity Classification ≥3 or in the length of hospital stay. A laparoscopic colorectal cancer resection in elderly patients, especially those aged 75 years or older, is safe and feasible.
Colorectal cancer; Laparoscopic surgery; Elderly; Morbidity; Mortality
Circumferential resection margin (CRM) involvement is a well-known predictor for poor prognosis in rectal cancer. However, the significance is controversial in some studies. Accordingly, this study attempted to examine the prognostic impact of CRM involvement in stage III rectal cancer.
Materials and Methods
Between January 1990 and December 2007, a total of 449 patients who underwent curative resection followed by complete adjuvant chemoradiotherapy for stage III rectal cancer located within 12 cm from the anal verge were selected. Patients were divided into a CRM-positive group (n=79, 17.6%) and a CRM-negative group (n=370, 82.4%).
With a median follow-up of 56.6 months, recurrent disease was seen in 53.2 and 43.5% of the CRM-positive and CRM-negative group, respectively. CRM involvement was an independent prognostic factor for 5-year systemic recurrence-free survival (HR: 1.5, CI: 1.0-2.2, p=0.017). However, no significant difference was observed for local recurrence rate between the two groups (13.0 and 13.5%, respectively, p=0.677).
In this study, local recurrence rate did not differ according to CRM involvement status in stage III rectal cancer patients, although CRM involvement was shown to be an independent poor prognostic factor. Accordingly, validation of the results of this study by further large prospective randomized trials is warranted.
Rectal neoplasm; circumferential resection margin; local recurrence; systemic metastasis; prognosis
Robotically assisted colon resection is a new type of surgery for colon cancer. However, the evidence is inadequate for the general adaptation of robotic colon surgery. This study aimed to show the oncologic and perioperative clinical results of robotically assisted anterior resection (R-AR) compared with those of laparoscopically assisted anterior resection (L-AR) for sigmoid colon cancer.
A total of 180 patients (sigmoid colon cancer stages 1–3) were assigned to receive either R-AR (n = 34) or L-AR (n = 146) between April 2006 and September 2008. Patient characteristics, perioperative clinical results, and long-term oncologic outcomes were compared between the two groups.
The patient characteristics did not differ significantly between the two groups. The mean operation time was 217.6 ± 70.7 min for L-AR versus 252.5 ± 94.9 min for R-AR (p = 0.016). The total postoperative complication rate was 10.3 % for R-AR versus 5.9 % for L-AR (p = 0.281). The 3-year overall survival rate for all the patients was 93.4 % for L-AR versus 92.1 % for R-AR (p = 0.723). The 3-year overall survival rate was 100 % for both L-AR and R-AR in stage 1, 95.5 % for L-AR versus 100 % for R-AR (p = 0.386) in stage 2, and 88.4 % for L-AR versus 72.9 % (p = 0.881) for R-AR in stage 3.
In this study, R-AR showed safety and feasibility in terms of perioperative clinical and long-term oncologic outcomes. However, the advanced technologies of R-AR did not translate into better long-term oncologic outcomes compared with L-AR.
Minimally invasive surgery; Robotic surgery; Sigmoid colon cancer
The purpose of the study is to evaluate the oncologic outcomes of a laparoscopic-assisted right hemicolectomy for the treatment of colon cancer and compare the results with those of previous randomized trials.
From June 2006, to December 2008, 156 consecutive patients who underwent a laparoscopic right hemicolectomy with a curative intent for colon cancer were evaluated. The clinicopatholgic outcomes and the oncologic outcomes were evaluated retrospectively by using electronic medical records.
There were 84 male patients and 72 female patients. The mean possible length of stay was 7.0 ± 1.5 days (range, 4 to 12 days). The conversion rate was 3.2%. The total number of complications was 30 (19.2%). Anastomotic leakage was not noted. There was no mortality within 30 days. The 3-year overall survival rate of all stages was 93.3%. The 3-year overall survival rates according to stages were 100% in stage I, 97.3% in stage II, and 84.8% in stage III. The 3-year disease-free survival rate of all stages was 86.1%. The 3-year disease-free survival rates according to stage were 96.2% in stage I, 90.3% in stage II, and 75.6% in stage III. The mean follow-up period was 36.3 (3 to 60) months.
A laparoscopic right hemicolectomy for the treatment of colon cancer is technically feasible and safe to perform in terms of oncologic outcomes. The present data support previously reported randomized trials.
Laparoscopy; Colonic neoplasms; Survival rate
Surgery for thoracic disc herniations is still challenging, and the disc excision via a posterior laminectomy is considered risky. A variety of dorsolateral and ventral approaches have been developed. However, the lateral extracavitary and transthoracic approach require extensive surgical exposure. Therefore, we adopted a posterior transdural approach for direct visualization without entry into the thoracic cavity. Three cases that illustrate this procedure are reported here with the preoperative findings, radiological findings and surgical techniques used. After the laminectomy, at the involved level, the dorsal dura was opened with a longitudinal paramedian incision. The cerebrospinal fluid was drained to gain more operating space. After sectioning of the dentate ligaments, gentle retraction was applied to the spinal cord. Between the rootlets above and below, the ventral dural bulging was clearly observed. A small paramedian dural incision was made over the disc space and the protruded disc fragment was removed. Neurological symptoms were improved, and no surgery-related complication was encountered. The posterior transdural approach may offer an alternative surgical option for selected patients with thoracic paracentral soft discs, while limiting the morbidity associated with the exposure.
Disc herniation; Transdural approach; Thoracic
Laparoscopic colectomy has clinical benefits such as short hospital stay, less postoperative pain, and early return of bowel function. However, objective evidence of its immunologic and oncologic benefits is scarce. We compared functional recovery after open versus laparoscopic sigmoidectomy and investigated the effect of open versus laparoscopic surgery on acute inflammation as well as tumor stimulation.
Materials and Methods
A total of 57 patients who were diagnosed with sigmoid colon cancer were randomized for elective conventional or laparoscopically assisted sigmoidectomy. Serum samples were obtained preoperatively and on postoperative day 1. C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were measured as inflammation markers, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) were used as tumor stimulation factors. Clinical parameters and serum markers were compared.
Postoperative hospital stay (p=0.031), the first day of gas out (p=0.016), and the first day of soft diet (p<0.001) were significantly shorter for the laparoscopic surgery group than the open surgery group. The levels of CRP, IL-6, and VEGF rose significantly, and the concentration of IGFBP-3 fell significantly after both open and laparoscopic surgery. However, there were no significant differences in the preoperative and postoperative levels of CRP, IL-6, VEGF, and IGFBP-3 between the two groups.
Our data suggest that both open and laparoscopic surgeries are accompanied by significant changes in IL-6, CRP, IGFBP-3, and VEGF levels. Acute inflammation markers and tumor stimulating factors may not reflect clinical benefits of laparoscopic surgery.
Colon neoplasm; laparoscopic surgery; acute inflammation; tumor stimulation
Surgery is the standard treatment for a primary gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST); however, surgical resection is often not curative, particularly for large GISTs. In the past decade, with imatinib mesylate (IM), management strategies for GISTs have evolved significantly, and now IM is the standard care for patients with locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic GISTs. Adjuvant therapy with imatinib was recently approved for use, and preoperative imatinib is an emerging treatment option for patients who require cytoreductive therapy. IM neoadjuvant therapy for primary GISTs has been reported, but there is no consensus on the dose of the drug, the duration of treatment and the optimal time of surgery. These are critical because drug resistance or tumor progression can develop with a prolonged treatment. This report describes two cases of large rectal malignant GISTs, for which a abdominoperineal resection was initially anticipated. The two patients received IM preoperative treatment; we followed-up with CT or magnetic resonance imaging to access the response. After 9 months of treatment, a multi-disciplinary consensus that maximal benefit from imatinib had been achieved was reached. We determined the best time for surgical intervention and successfully performed sphincter-preserving surgery before resistance to imatinib or tumor progression occurred. We believe that a multidisciplinary team approach, considerating the optimal duration of therapy and the timing of surgery, is required to optimize treatment outcome.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors; Imatinib; Ultralow anterior resection; Coloanal anastomosis; Neoadjuvant treatment
Although the vertebral artery injuries (VAI) associated with cervical spine trauma are usually clinically occult, they may cause fatal ischemic damage to the brain stem and cerebellum.
We performed a prospective study using computed tomographic angiography (CTA) to determine the frequency of VAI associated with cervical spine injuries and investigate the clinical and radiological characteristics. Between January 2005 and August 2007, 99 consecutive patients with cervical spine fractures and/or dislocations were prospectively evaluated for patency of the VA, using the CTA, at the time of injury.
Complete disruption of blood flow through the VA was demonstrated in seven patients with unilateral occlusion (7.1%). There were four men and three women with a mean age of 43 (range, 33-55 years). Unilateral occlusion of the right vertebral artery occurred in four patients and of the left in three. Regarding the cervical injury type, two cases were cervical burst fractures (C6 and C7), two had C4-5 fracture/dislocations, two had a unilateral transverse foraminal fracture, and one had dens type III fracture. All patients presented with good patency of the contralateral VA. None of the patients developed secondary neurological deterioration due to vertebrobasilar ischemia during the follow-up period with a mean duration of 23 months.
VAI should be suspected in patients with cervical trauma that have cervical spine fractures and/or dislocations or transverse foramen fractures. CTA was useful as a rapid diagnostic method for ruling out VAI after cervical spine trauma.
Cervical spine; computed tomographic angiography; injury; vertebral artery
Among women with intestinal endometriosis, the sigmoid colon and rectum are the most commonly involved areas. Sometimes, the differential diagnosis of colorectal endometriosis from carcinoma of the colon and rectum is difficult due to similar colonoscopic and radiologic findings. From October 2002 to September 2007, we performed five operations with curative intent for rectal and sigmoid colon cancer that revealed intestinal endometriosis. Colonoscopic and radiologic findings were suggestive of carcinoma of rectum and sigmoid colon, such as rectal cancer, sigmoid colon cancer and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Anterior resection was performed in two patients, low anterior resection was performed in one patient and laparoscopic low anterior resection was done in two patients. We suggest to consider also intestinal endometriosis in reproductive women presenting with gastrointestinal symptoms and an intestinal mass of unknown origin.
Intestinal endometriosis; endometriosis; colorectal neoplasm
Ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF) is a rare cause of thoracic myelopathy. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with the surgical outcome on the basis of preoperative clinical and radiological findings.
Data obtained in 26 patients whot underwent posterior decompression for thoracic myelopathy, caused by thoracic OLF, were analyzed retrospectively. Patient age, duration of symptoms, OLF type, preoperative and postoperative neurological status using the Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scoring system, surgical outcome, and other factors were reviewed. We compared the various factors and postoperative prognosis. All patients had undergone decompressive laminectomy and excision of the OLF.
Using the JOA score, the functional improvement was excellent in 8 patients, good in 14, fair in 2, and unchanged in 2. A mean preoperative JOA score of 6.65 improved to 8.17 after an average of 27.3 months. According to our analysis, age, gender, duration of symptoms, the involved spinal level, coexisting spinal disorders, associated trauma, intramedullary signal change, and dural adhesions were not related to the surgical outcome. However, the preoperative JOA score and type of OLF were the most important predictors of the surgical outcome.
Early diagnosis and sufficient surgical decompression could improve the functional prognosis for thoracic OLF. The postoperative results were found to be significantly associated with the preoperative severity of myelopathy and type of OLF.
Ossification of ligamentum flavum; Thoracic myelopathy; Surgical outcome
We determined the prognostic value of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) clearance after tumor resection with serial evaluation of postoperative CEA levels in rectal cancer.
Between 1994 and 2004, we retrospectively reviewed 122 patients with rectal cancer whose serum CEA levels were measured on the preoperative day and postoperative days 7 and 30. Patients with preoperative CEA levels <5.0 ng/ml were excluded. An exponential trend line was drawn using the three CEA values. Patients were categorized into three groups based on R2 values calculated through trend line, which indicates the correlation coefficient between exponential graph and measured CEA values: exponential decrease group (group 1: 0.9 < R2 ≤ 1.0), nearly exponential decrease group (group 2: 0.5 < R2 ≤ 0.9), and randomized clearance group (group 3: 0.5 ≤ R2). We then analyzed the CEA clearance pattern as a prognostic indicator.
With a median follow-up of 57 months, the 5-year overall survival was 62.3% vs. 48.1% vs. 25% and the 5-year disease-free survival was 58.6% vs. 52.7% vs. 25% among groups 1, 2, and 3 (P = 0.014, P = 0.027, respectively) in patients with stage III rectal cancer. For those with stage II rectal cancer, the 5-year overall survival rate of group 1 was significantly better than groups 2 and 3 (88.8% vs. 74.1%, respectively, P = 0.021).
The postoperative pattern of CEA clearance is a useful prognostic determinant in patients with rectal cancer. Patients with a randomized pattern of CEA clearance after tumor resection should be regarded as having the possibility of a persistent CEA source and may require consideration of intensive follow-up or adjuvant therapy.
Primary cerebellar glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a rare tumor in adults that accounts for just 1% of all cases of GBM. Due to their rarity, cerebellar GBMs are not yet completely understood about the pathogenesis and the prognosis. Here, we present a case of GBM in a 69-year-old man. Neurologic examination revealed the presence of cerebellar signs. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a 4.5 × 3.6 cm-sized, ill-defined, heterogeneously enhancing mass in the left cerebellum and two patchy hyperintense lesions in the right cerebellum with minimal enhancement. After operation, glioblastoma was histologically confirmed. Postoperative radiotherapy with concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide chemotherapy was subsequently followed. Here, a case of unusual GBM in the cerebellum is reported with review of literature regarding the pathogenesis, the differential diagnosis and prognosis. There was no evidence of recurrence during postoperative one year. This patient showed a good prognosis in spite of the multiple lesions.
Cerebellum; Differential diagnosis; Glioblastoma multiforme; Pathogenesis