Safety and advantages of laparoscopic vs. open colectomy in the elderly: Matched-control study

L. Stocchi, H. Nelson, T. M. Young-Fadok, D. R. Larson, D. M. Ilstrup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

218 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to determine rates of complications and extent of benefits for laparoscopic-assisted colectomy compared with open colectomy in patients older than age 75. METHODS: Forty-two patients undergoing laparoscopic-assisted colectomy (1992-1998) were matched to 42 open colectomy patients for gender, age, year of surgery, operating surgeon, and procedure. Health status (American Society of Anesthesiology score), previous abdominal surgery, conversion rate, surgical outcome, and need for assistance at admission and dismissal (independence vs. home with assistance vs. nursing facilities) were reviewed. RESULTS: Mean ages were 81.2 and 80.5 years for laparoscopic-assisted colectomy and open colectomy, respectively (P = not significant). Twenty-one laparoscopic-assisted colectomy and 23 open colectomy patients were females. American Society of Anesthesiology scores were comparable, as were rates of previous abdominal surgery (57 percent for laparoscopic-assisted colectomy vs. 62 percent for open colectomy; P = not significant). Mean operative times were longer for laparoscopic-assisted colectomy (190 minutes for laparoscopic-assisted colectomy vs. 142 minutes for open colectomy; P < 0.001); operating room times progressively decreased from 221 minutes in 1992 to 1995 to 147 in 1998 for laparoscopic right hemicolectomy (P < 0.001). The conversion rate for laparoscopic-assisted colectomy was 14.3 percent. There were no deaths in either group, and laparoscopic-assisted colectomy was associated with fewer morbidities (14.3 percent for laparoscopic-assisted colectomy vs. 33.3 percent for open colectomy; P = 0.04), narcotic usage (2.7 vs. 4.8 days; P < 0.001), time to return to bowel movements (3.9 vs. 5.9 days; P < 0.001), and length of hospital stay (6.5 vs. 10.2 days; P < 0.001). Independent status at admission in 37 laparoscopic-assisted colectomy and 38 open colectomy patients was maintained at discharge by 35 laparoscopic-assisted colectomy vs. 29 open colectomy patients (P = 0.025). CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic-assisted colectomy is safe and beneficial, including preservation of postoperative independence, to the elderly when compared with open colectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-332
Number of pages7
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000


  • Aged
  • Colorectal surgery
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Morbidity
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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