Influence of CT 3D on the Learning Curve of Laparoscopic Colorectal Resection


Laparoscopic colorectal surgery has been widely accepted worldwide; however, despite the well-known benefits and comparable oncological outcomes, it is still limited by a lack of tactile sensation and a reduced operative field view. In addition, the inconsistency in the number and course of the mesenteric vessels significantly influences the learning curve with 30 to 70 cases required for proficiency. To overcome these limitations, the vascular anatomy can be mapped using CT-angiography, and the images can be processed with rendering software to reconstruct a three-dimensional model of the mesenteric vessels. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of visualizing the three-dimensional vascular anatomy on the learning curve for laparoscopic colorectal surgery.All patients who underwent laparoscopic left or right hemicolectomies between January 2012 and January 2014 were evaluated for inclusion in this study. To assess the influence of preliminary knowledge of colonic vascular anatomy on the learning curve, we considered 2 groups of two surgeons with different levels of experience. In the first group (group A), the surgeons were able to view 3D reconstructions before and during the surgery, while the surgeons in Group B were only able to view the 3D reconstructions after surgery.

Full Title of Study: “The Impact of Preoperative Knowledge of the Colonic Vascular Anatomy on the Learning Curve for Laparoscopic Colorectal Resection”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Observational
  • Study Design
    • Time Perspective: Prospective
  • Study Primary Completion Date: January 2014


  • Procedure: multi-slice Computed Tomography angiography and three-dimensional reconstruction software

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Group A
    • the surgeons were able to view 3D reconstructions before and during surgery
  • Group B
    • the surgeons were only able to view 3D reconstructions after the surgery

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • operating time
    • Time Frame: operating time

Secondary Measures

  • intraoperative and postoperative complications
    • Time Frame: first 2 week after surgery
  • hospital stay
    • Time Frame: first 2 weeks after surgery
  • oncological clearance
    • Time Frame: first 2 weeks after surgery
    • radicality and number of harvested lymph nodes

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Patients in which standard laparoscopic right or left hemicolectomy was planned Exclusion Criteria:
  • patients who underwent extended right hemicolectomy and segmental colectomy or sigmoidectomy and patients for whom the surgical technique was modified intraoperatively – patients who underwent anterior rectal resection and emergency procedures for complicated diverticulitis were excluded because these procedures require higher technical skills. – Patients who had an ASA score of IV, a BMI over 40 or contraindications for laparoscopy were also excluded.
  • Gender Eligibility: All

    Minimum Age: 18 Years

    Maximum Age: 80 Years

    Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

    Investigator Details

    • Lead Sponsor
      • University of Roma La Sapienza
    • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
      • Principal Investigator: Francesco Saverio Mari, MD – University of Roma La Sapienza

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