New surgical techniques invariably arrive amid a flurry of claimed advantages, often unsubstantiated. Laparoscopic colectomy is no exception, and surgical journals are replete with claims of an early return of gastrointestinal function, reduced pain, shorter lengths of stay, and decreased morbidity. Advocates of laparoscopic surgery have long argued that decreased postoperative pain leads to better pulmonary function, a finding borne out in comparative trials of open vs laparoscopic cholecystectomy.1-3 In the preceding article, Schwenk et al address the issue of pulmonary function following large-bowel resection: Is the well-documented impairment of pulmonary function following conventional colectomy ameliorated by a laparoscopic approach?
Shelton AA, Madoff RD. Invited Critique: Pulmonary Function Following Laparoscopic or Conventional Colorectal Resection. Arch Surg. 1999;134(1):13. doi:10.1001/archsurg.134.1.13
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