National disparities in laparoscopic colorectal procedures for colon cancer

Document Type



General Surgery


Introduction: Racial disparity in the treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC) has been cited as a potential cause for differences in mortality. This study compares the rates of laparoscopy according to race, insurance status, geographic location, and hospital size.
Methods: The 2009 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project: Nationwide Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS) database was queried to identify patients with the diagnosis of CRC by the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to look at age, gender, insurance coverage, academic versus nonacademic affiliated institutions, rural versus urban settings, location, and proportional differences in laparoscopic procedures according to race.
Results: A total of 14,502 patients were identified; 4,691 (32.35 %) underwent laparoscopic colorectal procedures and 9,811 (67.65 %) underwent open procedures. The proportion of laparoscopic procedures did not differ significantly by race: Caucasian 32.4 %, African-American 30.04 %, Hispanic 33.99 %, and Asian-Pacific Islander 35.12 (P = 0.08). Among Caucasian and African-American patients, those covered by private insurers were more likely to undergo laparoscopic procedures compared to other insurance types (P ≤ 0.001). The odds of receiving laparoscopic procedure at teaching hospitals was 1.39 times greater than in nonteaching hospitals (95 % confidence interval [CI] 1.29-1.48) and did not differ across race groups. Patients in urban hospitals demonstrated higher odds of laparoscopic surgery (2.24, 95 % CI 1.96-2.56) than in rural hospitals; this relationship was consistent within races. The odds of undergoing laparoscopic surgeries was lowest in the Midwest region (0.89, 95 % CI 0.81-0.97) but higher in the Southern region (1.14, 95 % CI 1.06-1.22) compared with the other regions.
Conclusions: Nearly one-third of all CRC surgeries are laparoscopic. Race does not appear to play a significant role in the selection of a laparoscopic CRC operation. However, there are significant differences in the selection of laparoscopy for CRC patients based on insurance status, geographic location, and hospital type


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University

Publication (Name of Journal)

Surgical endoscopy