Digestive Disease Interventions 2023; 07(01): 017-023
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1760729
Review Article

Combined Endoscopic–Laparoscopic Surgery (CELS) in the Management of Early Colorectal Lesions

Jordan R. Wlodarczyk
1   Division of Colorectal Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California Norris Cancer Center, Los Angeles, California
Sang W. Lee
1   Division of Colorectal Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California Norris Cancer Center, Los Angeles, California
› Author Affiliations


Over 14 million colonoscopies are performed annually in the United States. With the growing number of colonoscopies comes corresponding increases in the rates of colectomies performed for benign polyps. These advanced adenomas have the potential, if removed early, to promote decreased rates of colon cancer and improve patient survival. Difficult to resect polyps may be located at colonic flexures, tortuous turns in the colon, the ileocecal valve, or the appendiceal orifice presenting a unique challenge to endoscopic resection. Various advanced endoscopic techniques are now available for the resection of these polyps such as endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) and endoscopic submucosal dissection, but these techniques have a steep learning curve and are technically challenging. For the community colorectal surgeon, relatively simpler options include combined endoscopic and laparoscopic surgery (CELS) and full-thickness laparo-endoscopic colonic excision (FLEX) for either the endoscopic or laparoscopic removal of challenging polyps. The FLEX procedure resembled a nonanatomic wedge resection of the colon with polyp, while CELS resembles a laparoscopically augmented EMR. With the technical success rate for CELS reportedly between 74 and 97%, the postoperative complication rate of less than 5%, and polyp recurrence rates bordering less than 2%, these procedures have the capacity to safely facilitate the complete removal of difficult-to-resect endoscopic polyps. The purpose of this review is to both provide recommendations for CELS and FLEX utilization for the resection of polyps and describe our operative techniques and tips and tools for increasing the efficacy of these procedures.

Financial Disclosure

The authors have no financial interest.

Publication History

Received: 30 May 2022

Accepted: 08 December 2022

Article published online:
22 February 2023

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