J Korean Soc Coloproctol.  1998 Dec;14(4):751-760.

Treatment of Obstructive Colorectal Cancer


The occurrence of the colonic obstruction secondary to colorectal carcinoma (CRC) has been reported in 7~30% of the CRC patients. It is generally believed that obstructive CRC is associated with a poor prognosis with respect to operative mortality and five-year survival. A series of 1064 cases of the CRC treated surgically at Asan Medical Center from June 1989 to December 1996 has been analyzed to compare clinicopathological findings between obstructive and non-obstructive CRC and to evaluate surgical treatment options in obstructive CRC. Complete obstruction was present in 49 cases (4.6%). There were no differences between obstructive and non-obstructive CRC in tumor location, size, Dukes' stage, and differentiation. In forty-nine obstructive CRC cases, primary resections were performed in 29 cases after peri-operative bowel decompression. In this group, right colon cancer was more prevalent than staged operation group (45% vs. 5%, P<0.05) and hospital stay was significantly short (16 days vs. 38 days, P<0.05). Postoperative complication rate was higher in staged operation group (65% vs. 28%, P=0.01). It may be due to stoma related wound complication. In obstructive left colon cancer, there was a significant difference in complication rate between primary resection and staged operation (P<0.05). Overall 5-year survival rate were 66% and 53% in non-obstructive and obstructive group, respectively. Survival rate according to the Dukes' B and C stages did not show statistical differences, either. Conclusively, primary resection is preferred to the obstructive CRC when supportive care, preoperative bowel decompression, and intraoperative colonic irrigation were performed adequately.


Obstructive colorectal cancer; Primary resection

MeSH Terms

Colonic Neoplasms
Colorectal Neoplasms*
Length of Stay
Postoperative Complications
Preoperative Care
Survival Rate
Wounds and Injuries
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