Background

Compared with conventional laparoscopic surgery, natural orifice specimen extraction surgery (NOSES) has many advantages. Laparoscopic right colectomy with transvaginal specimen extraction has been reported, but the safety and feasibility of transrectal specimen extraction in male patients with ascending colon cancer remain to be verified. This study aimed to preliminarily evaluate the feasibility and safety of laparoscopic right hemicolectomy with transrectal specimen extraction.

Methods

The study was conducted at a single tertiary medical center in China. A total of 494 consecutive patients who underwent laparoscopic right colectomy between September 2018 and September 2020 were included. Transrectal specimen extraction was performed in 40 male patients (the NOSES group). Patients in the NOSES group were matched to the conventional laparoscopic group using propensity score matching at a 1:2 ratio. Short-term and long-term outcomes between the two groups were compared and evaluated.

Results

Forty patients in the NOSES group and 80 patients in the conventional laparoscopic group were matched for analysis. Baseline characteristics were balanced after propensity matching. The operative features, including operating time, intraoperative bleeding, and the number of harvested lymph nodes, were statistically comparable in both groups. In terms of post-operative recovery, patients in the NOSES group showed preferable outcomes, as evidenced by less post-operative pain and faster return to flatus, defecation, and discharge. The post-operative complications rate, according to the Clavien–Dindo classification system, was similar in both groups. No differences in overall survival or disease-free survival were observed between the two groups.

Conclusions

Laparoscopic right colectomy with transrectal specimen extraction is oncologically safe. Compared with conventional laparoscopic right colectomy, it can reduce post-operative pain, accelerate post-operative recovery, shorten the hospital stay, and achieve better cosmetic effect.

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