Laparoscopic surgery (including laparoscopically assisted surgery) is recommended as an alternative to open surgery for people with colorectal cancer if:

  • both laparoscopic and open surgery are suitable for the person and their condition
  • their surgeon has been trained in laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer and performs the operation often enough to keep his or her skills up to date.

The decision about whether to use open or laparoscopic surgery should be made after informed discussion between the patient and the surgeon. In particular, they should talk about whether the patient's condition is suitable for laparoscopic surgery, the risks and benefits of the two procedures, and the surgeon's experience.

This guidance updates and replaces NICE technology appraisal 17 (published in December 2000).