Michael J. Cavnar, MD, discusses surgical differences between right- and left-sided tumors in colorectal cancer.
Michael J. Cavnar, MD, assistant professor of surgery, University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, discusses surgical differences between right- and left-sided tumors in colorectal cancer (CRC).
Right-sided CRC tumors are the easiest to remove surgically, explains Cavnar. Unless the tumor is bulky or advanced, patients who present with a right-sided tumor can likely undergo laparoscopic surgery to remove the tumor, Cavnar says. Moreover, laparoscopic surgery typically requires patients to be hospitalized for 3 to 4 days and the recovery period is usually short.
Conversely, left-sided tumor resections tend to be more complicated, says Cavnar. Tumors that are located on the upper-left region of the colon are usually able to be removed surgically and don’t involve a diverting ileostomy. However, neoadjuvant radiation may be required in rectal cancer. Moreover, surgical anastomosis has a higher risk in this setting and is frequently protected with a diverting ileostomy, which requires an additional surgery to reverse, Cavnar concludes.