• Analysis of 81 consecutive patients with recurrent colorectal cancer was undertaken to evaluate the rationale and efficacy of surgical re-treatment. The disease-free interval after primary surgery and the diagnostic delay did not clearly differ between the modes of recurrences. Symptoms preceded the diagnosis of recurrence in 73% (59) of the cases, with pain being the most frequent symptom (n=22). Of the patients, 58% (47) underwent reoperations, 38% (31) underwent reresections, and 10% (8) underwent radical resections. The overall postoperative mortality was 13%, and the postoperative morbidity was 45%. The postoperative relief of cancer symptoms after resective surgery was 8 months and, after nonresective surgery, 2 months. The median survival was 24 months for patients who underwent resections, 8 months for patients who were treated by nonresective surgery, and 15 months for patients who were treated conservatively. Radical resection clearly prolonged survival when compared with palliative resections and nonresective procedures. On the basis of these results, it was concluded that resective surgery, when possible, can improve survival and patient comfort after recurrence of colorectal cancer.
(Arch Surg. 1989;124:1029-1032)