Position Statement of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS)
Endorsed by the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES)
Laparoscopic colectomy for curable cancer results in equivalent cancer related survival to open colectomy when performed by experienced surgeons. Adherence to standard cancer resection techniques including but not limited to complete exploration of the abdomen, adequate proximal and distal margins, ligation of the major vessels at their respective origins, containment and careful tissue handling, and en bloc resection with negative tumor margins using the laparoscopic approach will result in acceptable outcomes. Based upon the COST* trial, pre-requisite experience should include at least 20 laparoscopic colorectal resections with anastomosis for benign disease or metastatic colon cancer before using the technique to treat curable cancer. Hospitals may base credentialing for laparoscopic colectomy for cancer on experience gained by formal graduate medical educational training or advanced laparoscopic experience, participation in hands on training courses and outcomes.
*The Clinical Outcomes of Surgical Therapy Study Group. A comparison of laparoscopically assisted and open colectomy for colon cancer. N Engl J Med 2004;350:2050-2059.
This statement was reviewed and approved by the Board of Governors of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) on Jun 2004.
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Guidelines for clinical practice are intended to indicate preferable approaches to medical problems as established by experts in the field. These recommendations will be based on existing data or a consensus of expert opinion when little or no data are available. Guidelines are applicable to all physicians who address the clinical problem(s) without regard to specialty training or interests, and are intended to indicate the preferable, but not necessarily the only acceptable approaches due to the complexity of the healthcare environment. Guidelines are intended to be flexible. Given the wide range of specifics in any health care problem, the surgeon must always choose the course best suited to the individual patient and the variables in existence at the moment of decision.
Guidelines are developed under the auspices of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons and its various committees, and approved by the Board of Governors. Each clinical practice guideline has been systematically researched, reviewed and revised by the guidelines committee, and reviewed by an appropriate multidisciplinary team. The recommendations are therefore considered valid at the time of its production based on the data available. Each guideline is scheduled for periodic review to allow incorporation of pertinent new developments in medical research knowledge, and practice.