Minimally invasive surgery improves short-term outcomes in elderly colorectal cancer patients

Celia N. Robinson, Courtney J. Balentine, Christy L. Marshall, Jonathan A. Wilks, Daniel Anaya, Avo Artinyan, David H. Berger, Daniel Albo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for colorectal resection has been shown to improve short-term outcomes compared with open surgery in patients with colorectal cancer. Currently, there is a paucity of data demonstrating similar efficacy between MIS and open colorectal resection in the elderly population. We hypothesized that minimally invasive surgery provides improved short-term outcomes in elderly patients with colorectal cancer. Methods: A review of 242 consecutive elderly (≥65 y of age) patients who underwent either open or MIS colorectal resection for adenocarcinoma at one institution was conducted. Short-term and oncologic outcomes were analyzed. Continuous variables were analyzed by the Mann-Whitney U test. Categorical variables were compared by χ2 tests. Survival was compared by the Kaplan-Meier method using the log rank test for comparison. Results: Of the 242 elderly patients with colorectal cancer (median American Society of Anesthesiology score (ASA) scores of 3), 80% (n = 195) of patients underwent open and 20% (n = 47) had MIS colorectal cancer resections. Patients undergoing MIS had a faster return of bowel function, decreased days to nasogastric tube removal, decreased days to flatus and bowel movement, and quicker advancement to clear liquid and regular diets. The overall length of hospital stay in the MIS group was decreased by 40% as well as a trend towards a 50% decrease in SICU stay. Additionally, there was 66% decrease in cardiac complications in the MIS group. When evaluating for oncologic adequacy as measured by number of lymph nodes and surgical resection margins, MIS surgery offered equivalent results as open resection. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in overall survival for MIS versus open colorectal surgery. Conclusion: Minimally invasive colorectal cancer resection leads to improved short-term outcomes as demonstrated by decreased length of hospital stay and faster return of bowel function. Additionally, there appears to be no difference in oncologic outcomes in the elderly. On the basis of our data, age alone should not be a contra-indication to laparoscopic colorectal cancer resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-188
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • colorectal cancer
  • elderly, clinical outcomes
  • laparoscopic surgery
  • minimally invasive surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Minimally invasive surgery improves short-term outcomes in elderly colorectal cancer patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this