We report a patient who experienced colonic necrosis after laparoscopic high anterior resection for sigmoid colon cancer, and review the literature to evaluate the clinical features of colonic necrosis following surgery for sigmoid colon and rectal cancer. A 76-year-old man with sigmoid colon cancer underwent laparoscopic high anterior resection. The operation included high ligation of the inferior mesenteric artery and end-to-end anastomosis using circular staples. Pathology findings revealed a pT4N2M0 lesion. Beginning on postoperative day (POD) 1, the patient experienced a high, spiking fever, and gradually developed leukocytosis and high inflammatory condition. The patient complained of abdominal distention, but had no signs of peritonitis. Abdominal computed tomography on POD4 showed wall thickness of the proximal colon from the anastomosis site and ascites with free air. An anastomotic leakage was suspected. Emergency laparotomy revealed a disrupted anastomosis without feces in the abdomen and a gangrenous 15 cm segment of the colon proximal to the anastomosis. The affected area of the colon was excised and Hartmann’s procedure was performed. His postoperative period was uneventful. Our review of the literature demonstrates that elderly male patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary complications undergoing laparoscopic sigmoid and rectal cancer surgery with high ligation have high risk of postoperative colonic necrosis. We experienced colonic necrosis following laparoscopic high anterior resection for sigmoid colon cancer and required immediate resection. Elderly male patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary complications undergoing laparoscopic sigmoid and rectal cancer surgery with high ligation should be carefully monitored for postoperative colonic necrosis.
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