Dis Colon Rectum 2019 03;62(3):380-384
Colorectal Surgery Division, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Introduction: Obesity is a burgeoning problem worldwide. Although beneficial in obese patients, conventional laparoscopic mesorectal excision for rectal cancer is technically challenging, with a higher conversion rate to open compared with nonobese patients. We describe novel strategies to circumvent these difficulties.
Technique: The key steps are 1) lateral-to-medial colonic mobilization and left-sided mesorectal excision with the surgeon on the patient's right; 2) switching to the patient's left for right-sided mesorectal excision; 3) further rectal retraction with cotton tape and preperitoneal fat sling; and 4) caudal-to-cephalad mobilization of colon after distal transection, which facilitates extrapelvic mesenteric dissection and vessel ligation.
Results: These techniques optimize gravity to negate the lack of exposure due to visceral obesity. Triangulation is improved by changing the surgeon's position during mesorectal dissection. This allows accurate identification of anatomical planes and avoids excessive pneumoperitoneum pressures and Trendelenburg tilt.
Conclusions: Adopting these strategies can facilitate laparoscopic mesorectal excision in the obese patient and may reduce conversion to open.