Systematic review of emergency laparoscopic colorectal resection. BJS 2014; 101: 126-133.

Published: 28th November 2013

Authors: D. P. Harji, B. Griffiths, D. Burke, P. M. Sagar


Laparoscopic surgery (LS) has become standard practice for a range of elective general surgical operations. Its role in emergency general surgery is gaining momentum. This study aimed to assess the outcomes of LS compared with open surgery (OS) for colorectal resections in the emergency setting.


A systematic review was performed of studies reporting outcomes of laparoscopic colorectal resections in the acute or emergency setting in patients aged over 18 years, between January 1966 and January 2013.


Twenty‐two studies were included, providing outcomes for 5557 patients: 932 laparoscopic and 4625 open emergency resections. Median (range) operating time was 184 (63–444) min for LS versus 148 (61–231) min for OS. Median (range) length of stay was 10 (3–23) and 15 (6–33) days in the LS and OS groups respectively. The overall median (range) complication rate was 27·8 (0–33·3) and 48·3 (9–72) per cent respectively. There were insufficient data to detect differences in reoperation and readmission rates.


Emergency laparoscopic colorectal resection, where technically feasible, has better short‐term outcomes than open resection.

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