Emergency curative resection of colorectal cancer, do it with caution. A comparative case series

Colorectal Cancer

Elmessiry MM and Mohamed EA. Ann Med Surg (Lond) 2020.


INTRODUCTION: The feasibility and efficacy of emergency curative resection of complicated colorectal cancer is still controversial. This prospective study aim was to assess surgical and oncologic outcomes after emergency compared to elective curative resection of colorectal cancer.

METHODS: 60 consecutive patients presented with complicated colorectal cancer managed by emergency surgery were included and compared to another 155 consecutive patients admitted during the same period with uncomplicated colorectal cancer managed by elective surgery. Both groups were compared regarding curative resection rate, early postoperative mortality and morbidity, 3-years tumor recurrence and survival rates.

RESULTS: Complicated colorectal cancer presented at a more advanced stage with a lower resectability rate and higher postoperative mortality and morbidity rates when compared to uncomplicated ones. Emergency resection of stage I/II colorectal cancer had similar 3-years disease free, overall survival and cancer-specific mortality rates approximating elective. But, emergency resection of stage III tumors had significantly decreased 3-years disease free and overall survival rates although there was no significant increase in cancer specific mortality rate.

CONCLUSIONS: Complicated colonic cancers present at a more advanced stage with a lower resectability rate, and higher postoperative morbidity and mortality rates when compared with uncomplicated ones. In medically fit patients, emergency curative resection of complicated colorectal cancer could be done safely with survival outcomes approximating elective resection of uncomplicated cancer in the same stage if proper oncologic resection done by expert surgeon.