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Laparoscopic colectomy is associated with decreased postoperative gastrointestinal dysfunction

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Major abdominal surgery is associated with early postoperative gastrointestinal dysfunction, which may lead to abdominal distention and vomiting, requiring nasogastric (NGT) tube insertion. This study aimed to compare the rates of early postoperative NGT insertion after open and laparoscopic colorectal surgery.


A retrospective chart review was performed for patients who underwent colorectal surgery with removal of the NGT at completion of surgery. Patients who required reinsertion of the NGT in the early postoperative course were identified. The reinsertion rate for patients who underwent laparoscopic surgery was compared with that for the open group.


There were 103 patients in the open group and 227 in the laparoscopic group. In the laparoscopic group, 42 patients underwent conversion to open surgery. Reinsertion of the NGT was required for 18.4% of the patients in the open group, compared with 8.6% of the patients for whom the procedure was completed laparoscopically (p = 0.02). Conversion to open surgery resulted in a reinsertion rate of 17%.


Laparoscopic colorectal surgery is associated with decreased postoperative gastrointestinal dysfunction, resulting in a significantly lower NGT reinsertion rate.

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Correspondence to Oded Zmora.

Additional information

Presented as a poster at the annual meeting of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, (SAGES), Dallas, Texas, 26–29 April 2006, and at the annual meeting of the European Society for Endoscopic Surgeons (EAES), Berlin, Germany, 13–16 September 2006.

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Zmora, O., Hashavia, E., Munz, Y. et al. Laparoscopic colectomy is associated with decreased postoperative gastrointestinal dysfunction. Surg Endosc 23, 87–89 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-008-9919-7

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  • Colorectal surgery
  • Conversion
  • Ileus
  • Laparoscopy
  • Laparotomy
  • Postoperative gastrointestinal dysfunction