OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the introduction of diagnostic laparoscopy (DLS) in patients with colorectal peritoneal metastases (PM) to prevent non-therapeutic laparotomies during cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (CRS + HIPEC).
METHODS: Patients with histologically proven colorectal PM who underwent a laparotomy for potential CRS + HIPEC from January 2006 to January 2019 were retrospectively identified from a prospectively maintained database. In 2012, DLS was introduced in the preoperative work-up for CRS + HIPEC in our academic center. The rates of non-therapeutic laparotomies, major postoperative complications (Clavien-Dindo grade III or higher), and survival outcomes were investigated for patients who underwent a laparotomy before (cohort A) and after (cohort B) the introduction of DLS. In cohort B, the reasons to refrain from DLS were retrospectively explored from medical records.
RESULTS: Overall, 172 patients were included [cohort A: 48 patients (27.9%); cohort B: 124 patients (72.1%)]. A significant drop in the rate of non-therapeutic laparotomies occurred in cohort B compared with cohort A (21.0 vs. 35.4%: p = 0.044), despite only 85 patients (68.5%) from cohort B undergoing DLS in our academic center. The most important reason to refrain from DLS was a recently performed DLS or laparotomy in the referring hospital (48.7%). Major postoperative complications, in-hospital mortality, and survival outcomes were similar for both cohorts.
CONCLUSIONS: Performing DLS during the preoperative work-up for CRS + HIPEC prevents non-therapeutic laparotomies in patients with colorectal PM. We recommend performing this laparoscopic screening in an experienced HIPEC center.