Minimally invasive surgery in gastrointestinal cancer: Benefits, challenges, and solutions for underutilization

Osama H. Hamed, Niraj J. Gusani, Eric T. Kimchi, Stephen M. Kavic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Objectives: After the widespread application of minimally invasive surgery for benign diseases and given its proven safety and efficacy, minimally invasive surgery for gastrointestinal cancer has gained substantial attention in the past several years. Despite the large number of publications on the topic and level I evidence to support its use in colon cancer, minimally invasive surgery for most gastrointestinal malignancies is still underused. Methods: We explore some of the challenges that face the fusion of minimally invasive surgery technology in the management of gastrointestinal malignancies and propose solutions that may help increase the utilization in the future. These solutions are based on extensive literature review, observation of current trends and practices in this field, and discussion made with experts in the field. Results: We propose 4 different solutions to increase the use of minimally invasive surgery in the treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies: collaboration between surgical oncologists/hepatopancreatobiliary surgeons and minimally invasive surgeons at the same institution; a single surgeon performing 2 fellowships in surgical oncology/hepatopancreatobiliary surgery and minimally invasive surgery; establishing centers of excellence in minimally invasive gastrointestinal cancer management; and finally, using robotic technology to help with complex laparoscopic skills. Conclusions: Multiple studies have confirmed the utility of minimally invasive surgery techniques in dealing with patients with gastrointestinal malignancies. However, training continues to be the most important challenge that faces the use of minimally invasive surgery in the management of gastrointestinal malignancy; implementation of our proposed solutions may help increase the rate of adoption in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2014.00134
JournalJournal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery

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