Port-Site Recurrence of Cancer Associated With Laparoscopic Diagnosis and Resection: The European Experience

Jean Mouiel, Jean Gugenheim, James Toouli, Francesco Crafa, Raffaele Cursio, Sylvain Chastanet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Port-site recurrences of cancer have drawn attention to the potential risks of laparoscopy for the diagnosis and treatment of digestive cancers. The first observations concerned unsuspected gallbladder cancers shown by laparoscopic cholecystectomy for lithiasis. Seventeen cases in patients with advanced or early colon cancer followed. It eventually became clear that all cancers could be the origin of such recurrences, which present as apparently isolated nodules embedded in the wall. These parietal recurrences were well known in open surgery, having been reported for most cancers, but they drew little attention because they usually occur in the context of carcinosis. It must be remembered that digestive cancers in general have a high potential for dissemination and that nearly 30% of patients have micrometastases in the bloodstream, the lymph nodes, the peritoneum, or even the bone marrow. The mechanism of tumor implantation is analogous to development of an inflammatory reaction. Under these conditions, laparoscopic surgery is susceptible to cause neoplastic dissemination for a number of mechanical reasons: CO2 insufflation, tumor manipulation, failure to isolate the tumor, forceful extraction of the surgical specimen, and exsufflation. Multiinstitutional trials of well-defined laparoscopic protocols based on the same oncologic principles as in open surgery should reduce the frequency of tumor cell dissemination and the incidence of port-site recurrences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalSurgical Innovation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 1995
Externally publishedYes


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