Central Surgical Association| Volume 142, ISSUE 4, P594-597.e2, October 2007

Laparoscopic colorectal surgery is safe in the high-risk patient: A NSQIP risk-adjusted analysis


      Laparoscopic colectomy was considered initially to be contraindicated in patients at high risk for operative morbidity and mortality. We hypothesized that this procedure is safe to perform in high-risk patients, stratifying this risk using National VA Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) algorithms.


      A case-matched, comparative study was performed for high-risk veteran patients who underwent colectomy during the period October 2002–September 2004. Consecutive patients undergoing laparoscopic colectomy were matched to patients who underwent open colectomy during the same period for age, body mass index (BMI), procedure, and NSQIP-predicted risk. The groups were compared for risk-stratified, 30-day morbidity/mortality, length of stay (LOS), and operating time.


      Forty-five patients (23 laparoscopic and 22 open cases) were defined as at high risk for complications (predicted complication >0.15). The rate of major complications was significantly less in the laparoscopic group. There were 4 (18%) cases of postoperative respiratory failure in the open group and none in the laparoscopic group. There was no surgically related mortality in the laparoscopic group, compared with 2 deaths in the open group (P = .5). Median LOS was less in the laparoscopic group (5 days) compared with open (8 days) (P = .001). There were no significant differences in operating time or the number of minor complications.


      Our results suggest that the laparoscopic approach to colorectal diseases is safe in the population of patients at high risk for operative morbidity and mortality. Rather, this approach may represent a safer alternative to open access.
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      • Erratum
        SurgeryVol. 143Issue 2
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          As a result of a production error, several articles appearing in the Central Surgical Association (Surgery, 2007; Vol. 142, No. 4:433-644) and American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (Surgery, 2007; Vol. 142, No. 6:785-1030) special focus issues were published without their respective discussions. The articles affected have now been updated online to include the missing discussion material. Surgery apologizes to the authors for this significant oversight.
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