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Laparoscopy, originally pioneered by gynecologists, was first adopted by general surgeons in the late 1980s. Since then, laparoscopy has been adopted in the surgical specialties and colorectal surgery for treatment of benign and malignant disease. Formal laparoscopic training became a required component of surgery residency programs as validated by the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery curriculum; however, some surgeons may be more apprehensive of widespread adoption of minimally invasive techniques. Although an overall increase in the use of laparoscopy in colorectal surgery is anticipated over a 10-year period, it is unknown if a similar increase will be seen in higher risk or more acutely ill patients.Using the American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database from 2005-2014, colorectal procedures were identified by Current Procedural Terminology codes and categorized to open or laparoscopic surgery. The proportion of colorectal surgeries performed laparoscopically was calculated for each year. Separate descriptive statistics was performed and categorized by age and body mass index (BMI). American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) classification and emergency case status variables were added to the project to help assess complexity of cases.During the 10-year study period, the number of colorectal cases increased from 3114 in 2005 to 51,611 in 2014 as more hospitals joined NSQIP. A total of 277,376 colorectal cases were identified; of which, 114,359 (41.2%) were performed laparoscopically. The use of laparoscopy gradually increased each year, from 22.7% in 2005 to 49.8% in 2014. Laparoscopic procedures were most commonly performed in the youngest age group (18-49 years), overweight and obese patients (BMI 25-34.9), and in ASA class 1-2 patients. Over the 10-year period, there was a noted increase in the use of laparoscopy in every age, BMI, and ASA category, except ASA 5. The percent of emergency cases receiving laparoscopic surgery also doubled from 5.5% in 2005 to 11.5% in 2014.Over a 10-year period, there was a gradual increase in the use of laparoscopy in colorectal surgery. Further, there was a consistent increase of laparoscopic surgery in all age groups, including the elderly, in all BMI classes, including the obese and morbidly obese, and in most ASA classes, including ASA 3-4, as well as in emergency surgeries. These trends suggest that minimally invasive colorectal surgery appears to be widely adopted and performed on more complex or higher risk patients.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of surgical research

Publication Date





16 - 21


Department of Surgery, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas; Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, Texas.