This study was designed to compare outcomes after elective laparoscopic and conventional colorectal surgery over a ten-year period using data from the English National Health Service Hospital Episode Statistics database.METHODS:
All elective colonic and rectal resections carried out in English Trusts between 1996 and 2006 were included. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to compare 30 and 365-day mortality rates, 28-day readmission rates, and length of stay between laparoscopic and open surgery.RESULTS:
Between the study dates 3,709 of 192,620 (1.9%) elective colonic and rectal resections were classified as laparoscopically assisted procedures. The 30-day and 365-day mortality rates were lower after laparoscopic resection than after open surgery (P < 0.05). After correction for age, gender, diagnosis, operation type, comorbidity, and social deprivation, laparoscopic surgery was a strong determinant of reduced 30-day (odds ratio, 0.57; 95% confidence interval, 0.44-0.74; P < 0.001) and one-year (odds ratio, 0.53; 95% confidence interval, 0.42-0.67; P < 0.001) mortality. Similarly, multivariate analysis confirmed that laparoscopic surgery was independently associated with reduced hospital stay (P < 0.001). Patients who received rectal procedures for malignancy, however, were more likely to be readmitted if laparoscopy rather than by a traditional method was used (11.9% vs. 9.1%, P = 0.003).CONCLUSION:
In the present study, patients selected for laparoscopic colorectal surgery were associated with reduced postoperative mortality when compared with those undergoing the conventional technique. This finding merits further investigation.