Author(s): Thaler K
HYPOTHESIS: Laparoscopy is an increasingly important tool in the staging and treatment of hepatic malignancies. This study evaluates the effect of staging laparoscopy (SL) using intraoperative ultrasonography (IOUS) on the regional treatment of isolated hepatic colorectal metastasis. DESIGN: Analytic cohort study.
SETTING: Tertiary care center.
PATIENTS: Consecutive patients who have a colorectal metastasis confined to the liver and selected for surgical regional treatment.
INTERVENTIONS: All patients underwent preoperative evaluation followed by SL/IOUS. Operative plans were based on preoperative imaging and were either carried out or altered intraoperatively according to SL/IOUS findings.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Effect of SL/IOUS on surgical management.
RESULTS: Between September 1996 and May 2004 one hundred fifty-two SL/IOUSs were performed in 136 patients (77 males and 59 females), who had a mean (SD) age of 63 (11) years. Data sets were complete in 138 events. All patients had isolated hepatic disease as defined by preoperative computed tomography in 152 (100%) and positron emission tomography in 107 (70%). Staging laparoscopy/IOUS identified surgically untreatable disease in 34 events (25%) because of peritoneal metastases (n = 15), nodal involvement (n = 11), diffuse hepatic disease (n = 5), no identifiable disease (n = 2), and untreatable disease (n = 1). Laparoscopic treatment events included radiofrequency ablations (n = 78), hepatic artery pump implantations (n = 40), resections (n = 26), and combined procedures (n = 37). Overall, SL/IOUS changed the treatment plan in 66 (48%) of 138 of events. This includes 32 (23%) of 138 events in which SL/IOUS findings significantly altered the actual procedure performed relative to the preoperative plan. Three minor complications occurred in the SL/IOUS-only group with a mean (SD) hospital stay of 1.3 (1) days.
CONCLUSION: In the regional management of isolated colorectal hepatic metastasis, SL/IOUS avoids unnecessary laparotomies and influences definitive surgical intervention in a substantial proportion of patients.