The Introduction of Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery: Can It Improve Hospital Economics?

Martijn Maassen van den Brink, Thais T. T. Tweed*, Patrick A. de Hoogt, A. G. M. Hoofwijk, Karel W. E. Hulsewe, Meindert N. Sosef, Jan H. M. B. Stoot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: Clinical benefits of laparoscopic surgery are well established, but evidence for financial benefits is limited. This study aimed to compare the financial impact of the introduction of laparoscopic colorectal surgery. Methods: This study included patients who underwent colorectal surgery between January 2010 and 2015. We collected a range of financial data and divided the patients into 2 groups. Primary outcome was total cost defined by surgical-related costs. Results: A total of 1,246 patients were included, of which 440 surgeries were performed laparoscopically. The total median cost of laparoscopy was higher compared to open surgery (EUR 4,665 vs. EUR 4,268, p = 0.001). Laparoscopy was associated with higher equipment costs (EUR 857 vs. EUR 232, p <0.001), longer operating time (3.2 vs. 2.5 hours, p <0.001), and more readmissions (10.9 vs. 8.5%, p <0.001). However, after adjusting for heterogeneity, no difference was found in total cost. Surgical-related costs were counterbalanced by lower costs associated with shorter median hospital stay (6 vs. 9 days, p <0.001), less morbidity (37.3 vs. 55.1%, p <0.001), and less mortality (1.8 vs. 5.6%, p = 0.013) for laparoscopy. Conclusion: During the introduction of laparoscopy for colorectal surgery, no significant differences were found in total cost between laparoscopic and open colorectal surgery. However, favorable postoperative outcomes were achieved with laparoscopic surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-65
Number of pages8
JournalDigestive Surgery
Issue number1
Early online date10 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Cost analysis
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Laparoscopic colorectal surgery

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