Accurate tumor localization is essential in performing minimally invasive colorectal resection.
Scientists have therefore conducted a study to review the safety and reliability of tattooing colorectal neoplasms prior to laparoscopic resection.
A total of 50 consecutive patients with colorectal neoplasms who had undergone endoscopic tattooing prior to laparoscopic resection were retrospectively reviewed. No complications related to endoscopy or tattooing were incurred.
Data were collected from medical charts, endoscopy records and pathology reports.
Five neoplasms (10%) were in the ascending colon, 5 (10%) were in the transverse colon, 8 (16%) were in the descending colon, 23 (46%) were in the sigmoid colon, and 9 (18%) were in the rectum.
In each case, tattoos were visualized intra-operatively and in 44 patients (88%), accurately localized the neoplasm.
In 6 patients (12%) intra-operative localization was required as tattoos were not visualized laparoscopically.
On average, the pathology specimens in the study had a 15 cm proximal margin, a 12 cm distal margin, and 15 lymph nodes.
|Tattoos were visualized in 88% of patients|
|Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery|
From their study, the authors conclude that in the context of laparoscopic colorectal resection, preoperative endoscopic tattooing is a safe and reliable method of tumor localization in most cases.
They add that localizing colon and proximal rectal lesions with tattoos may be preferable to other localization techniques including intra-operative endoscopy.