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A Population-Based Analysis of Three Treatment Modalities for Malignant Obstruction of the Proximal Colon: Acute Resection Versus Stent or Stoma as a Bridge to Surgery

F. J. Amelung MD, E. C. J. Consten MD, PhD, P. D. Siersema MD, PhD, P. J. Tanis MD, PhD
Gastrointestinal Oncology
Volume 23, Issue 11 / October , 2016



Malignant obstruction of the proximal colon (MOPC) traditionally has been treated with acute resection. However, morbidity and mortality rates following these emergency surgeries are high. Initial bowel decompression by stent placement or stoma construction has been used for distal obstructions as an alternative approach. This study evaluated whether these alternative treatment strategies could be beneficial for patients with a MOPC as well.


All patients undergoing a colonic resection for a MOPC between January 2009 and December 2013 and who were registered in the Dutch Surgical Colorectal Audit were analyzed.


From the 49,013 patients registered in the DSCA, 1860 (3.8 %) were selected for further analysis. Acute resection was performed in 1774 patients (95.4 %), 44 patients (2.4 %) were treated with initial decompression using stent placement and resection, and 42 patients (2.3 %) with stoma construction followed by resection. Thirty-day mortality was 8.8, 2.4, and 2.4 %, respectively. Mortality was significantly lower after a bridging strategy (stent or stoma) compared with acute resection (p = 0.04). Complications following the resection occurred in 39.6% in the acute resection group and in 27.3 and 31.7% in the stent and stoma group, respectively (p = 0.167).


Acute resection was performed in the vast majority of patients with obstructive proximal colon cancer and resulted in a 40 % morbidity and 9 % mortality rate. A bridging strategy may be a valid alternative in some of these patients, because a significantly lower postoperative mortality rate was seen in a subgroup of patients initially treated with a stent or stoma.

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