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Purpose: The aim of this study is to assess the pathologic surgical outcome and short-term outcome of a laparoscopic colorectal resection at an early time on the learning curve in comparison with open surgery. Methods: Retrospectively collected data were obtained on 49 patients who underrent a laparoscopic sigmoid colon and rectal cancer resection between May 2001 and January 2006. The compared factors were the clinicopathologic characteristics, the operation time, the postoperative recovery, and complications. Results: There were no significant differences in age, sex, TNM stage, and tumor size between the laparoscopic and open-surgery groups. The operation time was significantly longer in the laparoscopic group (291.4 vs. 201.9 min P<0.001). In the view point of postoperative recovery, the laparoscopic group showed a significant advantage in the passage of flatus. There were no significant differences in harvested LNs, proximal margin, and distal margin between the two groups. The complication rate was not significantly different, but anastomotic leakage was higher in the laparoscopic group (16.7% vs. 2%, P=0.02). Conclusions: There were no significant differences in harvested LNs, proximal margin, and distal margin between the two groups, but anastomotic leakage was higher in the laparoscopic group.