A decade-long study comparing conventional colon cancer surgery with “keyhole” surgery found identical success rates, disproving fears that tumors would be more likely to return if surgeons did not open up the patient’s belly for a full view.

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In conventional surgery, doctors remove a cancerous colon segment through an eight-inch cut down the abdomen. In keyhole, or laparascopic, surgery, they operate with a laparoscope, or tiny video camera, and miniaturized surgical instruments that are inserted through half-inch incisions. The diseased section of colon is removed through a two-inch cut.

laparoscopy

The biggest comparison of the two procedures to date, found the same rates of survival, tumor recurrence and surgical complications. In addition, patients who had laparascopic surgery had less pain and less time in the hospital.

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