Laparoscopic Colectomy for the Treatment of Cancer Has Been Widely Adopted in the United States

    • July 30, 2012

Laparoscopic resection of the colon is an effective alternative to open surgery in the treatment of colon cancer, but previous studies have estimated that laparoscopic techniques are used in only 10 percent of colon resections. This research was conducted to provide more accurate information about the proportion of colon resections performed via the laparoscopic method in the United States in recent years.

Researchers conducted a retrospective review of the 2008 to 2009 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, which collects data from hospital discharges. The study included 9,075 patients who underwent either an open or laparoscopic resection of the colon.

Key Findings:

  • Half of patients who underwent a colon resection were treated with laparoscopic methods.
  • Patients were more likely to undergo laparoscopy versus open surgery if they were treated at an academic medical center or a high volume center.
  • Patients were less likely to undergo laparoscopy versus open surgery if they were lower income, female, older than 70 years of age, or in a rural area.

This research suggests that the laparoscopic method has been widely adopted for use in colon resection throughout the United States. Patients with higher socioeconomic status and access to high-volume or academic medical centers are more likely to undergo laparoscopic procedures.