Understanding the Value of Both Laparoscopic and Robotic Approaches Compared to the Open Approach in Colorectal Surgery

Academic Article


  • Intro: Although the use of laparoscopy has significantly increased in colorectal procedures, robotic surgery may enable additional cases to be performed using a minimally invasive approach. We separately evaluated the value of laparoscopic and robotic colorectal procedures compared to the open approach. Methods: Patients undergoing nonemergent colorectal operations from 2010 to 2013 with National Surgical Quality Improvement Project data were identified. Robotic and laparoscopic procedures were separately matched (1:1) to open cases. Outcomes included 30-day composite morbidity, length of stay, operative time, and inpatient costs. Frequently used intraoperative disposable items were categorized, and significant cost contributors were identified by surgical approach. Statistical differences were determined with Chi-square and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Results: Both laparoscopic (n = 67) and robotic (n = 45) approaches were associated with decreased composite morbidity compared to matched open cases (lap vs. open: 22.4% vs. 49.2%, P < .01; robotic vs. open: 6.7% vs. 33.3%, P < .01). Median length of stay was significantly shorter for both laparoscopic and robotic compared to open surgery (lap vs. open: 5 vs. 7 days, P < .01; robotic vs. open: 5 vs. 7 days, P < .01). Median hospital costs were similar between laparoscopic and open surgery ($13,319 vs. $14,039; P = .80) and robotic and open surgery ($13,778 vs. $13,629; P = .48). Conclusion: These findings illustrate the value for both laparoscopic and robotic approaches to colorectal surgery compared to the open approach in terms of short-term outcomes and inpatient costs. Advanced intraoperative disposable items such as cutting staplers and energy devices are important targets for additional cost containment.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hollis RH; Cannon JA; Singletary BA; Korb ML; Hawn MT; Heslin MJ
  • Start Page

  • 850
  • End Page

  • 856
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 11