• Laser photoablative therapy has seen wide application in the esophagus, stomach, and rectum. Its use in the supraperitoneal colon has been less extensive because of fear of complications. One hundred fifteen patients who presented during a four-year period and underwent neodymium-YAG laser treatment on both sides of the peritoneal reflection (rectum, 47 patients; colon, 68 patients) were reviewed. The various lesions treated with laser therapy included 32 malignant tumors that presented with bleeding or obstruction, 44 large broad-based villous adenomas, six carcinoid tumors, and 33 patients with arteriovenous malformations or radiation proctitis who presented with acute hemorrhage or chronic blood loss. Overall treatment efficiency was 83% in the rectal group vs 87% in the colonic group. There was no significant difference in complication frequency or severity between the two groups, even though 45% of the colonic lesions were located in the thin-walled cecum. There was no laser-related mortality in this series. Laser photoablative therapy is safe and effective treatment for a wide variety of colorectal lesions. In experienced hands, it can be used on either side of the peritoneal reflection with equal efficiency and no increased risk of complications.
(Arch Surg 1989;124:684-688)