Fifty-one laparoscopic colectomies were attempted at two institutions. The clinical results and methods are presented. Seven cases (14%) were converted to facilitated procedures, and four cases (8%) were converted to 'open.' Cases of cancer, diverticulitis, endometriosis, regional enteritis, villous adenomas, and sessile polyps were operated. Right, transverse, left, low anterior, and abdominoperineal colectomies were performed. Colotomies and wedge resections were also performed. Laparoscopic suturing was required in five cases of incomplete anastomosis by circular stapler (18%). Suturing was required in all right, transverse colectomies and colotomies. Operative time averaged 2.3 hours. Hospitalization averaged 4.6 days. Four patients had complications (8%), and one 95-year-old died of pneumonia (2%). Laparoscopic colectomies can be performed safely, but require two-handed laparoscopic coordination, as well as suturing and knot-tying skills.
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