Establishment of a minimally invasive program at a Veterans' Affairs Medical Center leads to improved care in colorectal cancer patients

Jonathan A. Wilks, Courtney J. Balentine, David H. Berger, Daniel Anaya, Samir Awad, Liz Lee, Kujtim Haderxhanaj, Daniel Albo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Background: Despite significant advantages to patients, less than 5% of all colorectal surgeries for cancer are performed laparoscopically. A minimally invasive colorectal cancer program was created in our Veterans' Affairs hospital with the intent of increasing access and improving quality of patient care while maintaining patient safety and oncologic standards. Methods: Sixty consecutive laparoscopic colorectal cancer resections and 60 age-matched open resections were identified. Our prospective database was queried for demographic, clinical outcomes, and oncologic data. Results: Patients undergoing laparoscopic resections experienced a shorter hospital stay and a quicker return of bowel function. Both groups had similar intraoperative blood loss and surgical times. Laparoscopic resections achieved equivalent lymph node retrieval and resection completeness compared with open resections. Laparoscopic resections resulted in fewer wounds and fewer complications requiring reoperation. Conclusions: Establishment of a minimally invasive colorectal cancer program in a Veterans Affairs Medical Center leads to increased access to laparoscopic colorectal resections and improved patient care while maintaining patient safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-692
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Clinical outcomes
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Minimally invasive
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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