, Volume 13, Issue 7, pp 1251-1259
Date: 20 Mar 2009

National Trends and Outcomes for the Surgical Therapy of Ileocolonic Crohn’s Disease: A Population-Based Analysis of Laparoscopic vs. Open Approaches

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The laparoscopic approach to Crohn’s disease has demonstrated benefits in several small series. We sought to examine its use and outcomes on a national level.


All admissions with a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease requiring bowel resection were selected from the 2000–2004 Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Regression analyses were used to compare outcome measures and identify independent predictors of undergoing laparoscopy.


Of 396,911 patients admitted for Crohn’s disease, 49,609 (12%) required surgical treatment. They were predominately Caucasian (64%), female (54%), and with ileocolic disease (72%). Most had private insurance (71%) and had surgery in urban hospitals (91%). Laparoscopic resection was performed in 2,826 cases (6%) and was associated with lower complications (8% vs. 16%), shorter length of stay (6 vs. 9 days), lower charges ($27,575 vs. $38,713), and mortality (0.2% vs. 0.9%, all P < 0.01). Open surgery was used more often for fistulas (8% vs. 1%) and when ostomies were required (12% vs. 7%). Independent predictors of laparoscopic resection were age <35 [odds ratio (OR) = 2.4], female gender (OR = 1.4), admission to a teaching hospital (OR = 1.2), ileocecal location (OR = 1.5), and lower disease stage (OR = 1.1, all P < 0.05). Ethnic category, insurance status, and type of admission (elective vs. non-elective) were not associated with operative method (P > 0.05).


A variety of patient- and system-related factors influence the utilization of laparoscopy in Crohn’s disease. Laparoscopic resection is associated with excellent short-term outcomes compared to open surgery.

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