Colectomy – Clinical and Economic Outcomes

Clinical + Economic Outcomes – Colectomy

Compared to the traditional "open" procedure, the minimally invasive approach for colectomy may offer:

  • Less pain and scarring
  • Shorter hospital stay – reduced length of stay by a range of 0.4 to 7.1 days20
  • Lower rate of postoperative infections and complications48
  • Quicker return to work – time before returning to work reduced by a range of 5 to 26 days20
  • Shorter recovery time – time before returning to normal activities reduced by a range of 28 to 44 days20
  • Lower healthcare expenditures – savings between $438 and $8,286 in hospital costs20

Traditional colon surgery requires a long incision, leaving a noticeable scar. A laparoscopic colectomy requires several small incisions, which result in less conspicuous scars.

There are risks with any surgery, such as adverse reactions to medications, problems with anesthesia, problems breathing, bleeding, blood clots, inadvertent injury to nearby organs and blood vessels, even death. Procedures removing parts of the large intestines (colectomy) have their own risks, including post-operative bowels leaks, wound infections with possible abscess formation, pneumonia, and paralytic ileus (slowing down of the movement of the intestines). Patients should consult their physicians to determine if this procedure is appropriate for their condition.

Economic data

When compared to an "open" colon surgery, laparoscopic colectomy reduces costs by an average of $5,000-$15,000.20,48 Additionally, there is a 5.93% complication rate compared to 8.56% for a traditional "open" colectomy.48 This reduces costs associated with complications. There is also a lower rate of postoperative infections with a laparoscopic colectomy, which may also contribute to a cost savings.48

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