Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 1202–1208 | Cite as

Anatomical and embryological perspectives in laparoscopic complete mesocoloic excision of splenic flexure cancers

  • Takeru Matsuda
  • Yasuo Sumi
  • Kimihiro Yamashita
  • Hiroshi Hasegawa
  • Masashi Yamamoto
  • Yoshiko Matsuda
  • Shingo Kanaji
  • Taro Oshikiri
  • Tetsu Nakamura
  • Satoshi Suzuki
  • Yoshihiro Kakeji



Laparoscopic complete mesocoloic excision (CME) with central vascular ligation for splenic flexure cancer is technically challenging because of its anatomical complexity. Although embryological and anatomical consideration should be helpful to perform CME in colorectal cancer surgery, such studies on the splenic flexure are lacking.


The splenic flexure is located embryologically between the terminal portion of the midgut and the beginning of the hindgut, and is supplied by the superior mesenteric and inferior mesenteric arteries. The mesentery of the transverse and descending colon originally is a continuous sheet, although they rotate and partially fuse to each other during development. Our surgical strategy was excision of the transverse and descending mesocolon with ligation of the left colic artery and left branch of the middle colic artery, and extraction of the specimen in an intact package wrapped by the embryological planes.


We performed laparoscopic surgery according to our surgical strategy in 17 patients with splenic flexure colon cancer. There were no conversions to open surgery or serious intraoperative complications. Two patients had pathological stage (pStage) I, 5 pStage II, 9 pStage III, and 1 pStage IV disease. No patient had recurrence except for 1 with pStage IV cancer, with a median follow-up of 16 months.


Our laparoscopic CME technique is feasible for treatment of splenic flexure cancer. Knowledge of anatomy based on embryology is essential to perform this surgery.


Embryology Splenic flexure cancer Laparoscopy Complete mesocoloic excision 


Compliance with ethical standards


Takeru Matsuda, Yasuo Sumi, Kimihiro Yamashita, Hiroshi Hasegawa, Masashi Yamamoto, Yoshiko Matsuda, Shingo Kanaji, Taro Oshikiri, Tetsu Nakamura, Satoshi Suzuki, and Yoshihiro Kakeji have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takeru Matsuda
    • 1
  • Yasuo Sumi
    • 2
  • Kimihiro Yamashita
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Hasegawa
    • 1
  • Masashi Yamamoto
    • 1
  • Yoshiko Matsuda
    • 1
  • Shingo Kanaji
    • 1
  • Taro Oshikiri
    • 1
  • Tetsu Nakamura
    • 1
  • Satoshi Suzuki
    • 1
  • Yoshihiro Kakeji
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Department of SurgeryKobe University Graduate School of MedicineKobeJapan
  2. 2.Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Department of SurgeryKobe University Graduate School of MedicineKobeJapan

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