Laparoscopy improves failure to rescue compared to open surgery for emergent colectomy

Richa Patel, Krishan S. Patel, Melissa M. Alvarez-Downing, Aziz M. Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Emergent colectomy is performed in thousands of Americans each year and carries significant morbidity and mortality. Although laparoscopy has gained favor in the elective setting, its impact on failure to rescue has not been studied on a population level for emergent colectomy. The purpose of this study was to compare failure to rescue following laparoscopic versus open colectomy in the emergency setting. This was a retrospective cohort study of The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Adult patients undergoing emergent colectomy between 2005 and 2018 were selected and stratified into laparoscopic or open surgery groups using the Current Procedural Terminology codes. Propensity matching was performed based on the demographic and comorbidity data. Main outcomes were failure to rescue, mortality, overall morbidity, individual complications, and length of hospital stay. After matching, 11,484 cases were included for analysis, of which 3829 were laparoscopic. Overall, open colectomy conferred higher odds of failure to rescue (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.42–2.08), mortality (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.44–2.07), and morbidity (OR 1.73, 95% CI 1.60–1.88) vs laparoscopic cases. Open surgery significantly increased the risk of nearly all measured postoperative complications including return to operating room (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.08–1.45), ventilator use > 48 h (OR 2.43, 95% CI 2.03–2.93), and septic shock (OR 2.34, 95% CI 1.97–2.80). Hospital length of stay was shorter for patients undergoing laparoscopic (10.4 days) vs open (12.3 days) colectomy (p < 0.0001). This study demonstrates the safety and efficacy of the laparoscopic approach for emergent colectomy vs open surgery. Laparoscopy was associated with improved complications rates, mortality, and failure to rescue, indicating that it is a promising option to improve patient outcomes during emergent colectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)835-844
Number of pages10
JournalUpdates in Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


  • Colectomy
  • Emergency
  • Failure to rescue
  • Laparoscopy
  • Mortality
  • Open


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