Introduction. Improving the quality of surgical resections by evaluating surgical specimens is probably the most important feedback a surgeon can receive. Moreover, prognosis of patients with colon cancer is based on achieving appropriate resection margins and assessment of lymph node status. For these reasons we aim to provide a retrospective analysis on colon cancer specimens operated by a single surgical team.

Materials and Methods. 88 patients operated between 2013 and 2016 were included in the study. Data were gathered prospectively and assessed by multivariate analysis for the main variables (age, gender, tumor staging, specimen length, distance to closest resection margin, number of lymph nodes, and number of positive lymph nodes).

Results. The mean number of lymph nodes excised was 31,9, with more after right colectomies (39.6) than after left colonic resections (29.1). The average specimen length was 29.2cm after right colectomies, 35.6cm after left hemicolectomies and 18cm after segmental colectomies. There was a significant correlation between the number of lymph nodes, specimen length, and age of patients.

Conclusion. Lymph node status is correlated with specimen length and age. The standard of 12 lymph nodes was achieved and surpassed, being comparable to the benchmark literature. Standards on colon resections need to be reevaluated as many surgeons are pressured by quality measurements which do not always reflect sound oncologic principles.

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