Health-care expenditures are less for minimally invasive than open colectomy for colon cancer: A US commercial claims database analysis.

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Surgical endoscopy


washington; swedish; swedish dhi


BACKGROUND: Most studies comparing surgical platforms focus on short-term outcomes. In this study, we compare the expanding societal penetration of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) with open colectomy by assessing payer and patient expenditures up to one year for patients undergoing surgery for colon cancer.

METHODS: We analyzed the IBM MarketScan Database for patients who underwent left or right colectomy for colon cancer between 2013 and 2020. Outcomes included perioperative complications and total health-care expenditures up to 1 year following colectomy. We compared results for patients who had open colectomy (OS) to those with MIS operations. Subgroup analyses were performed for adjuvant chemotherapy (AC+) versus no adjuvant chemotherapy (AC-) groups and for laparoscopic (LS) versus robotic (RS) approaches.

RESULTS: Of 7,063 patients, 4,417 cases did not receive adjuvant chemotherapy (OS: 20.1%, LS: 67.1%, RS: 12.7%) and 2646 cases had adjuvant chemotherapy (OS: 28.4%, LS: 58.7%, RS: 12.9%) after discharge. MIS colectomy was associated with lower mean expenditure at index surgery and post-discharge periods for AC- patients (index surgery: $34,588 vs $36,975; 365-day post-discharge $20,051 vs $24,309) and for AC+ patients (index surgery: $37,884 vs $42,160; 365-day post-discharge $103,341vs $135,113; p < 0.001 for all comparisons). LS had similar index surgery expenditures but significantly higher expenditures at post-discharge 30 days (AC-: $2,834 vs $2276, p = 0.005; AC+: $9100 vs $7698, p = 0.020) than RS. The overall complication rate was significantly lower in the MIS group than the open group for AC- patients (20.5% vs 31.2%) and AC+ patients (22.6% vs 39.1%, both p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: MIS colectomy is associated with better value at lower expenditure than open colectomy for colon cancer at the index operation and up to one year after surgery. RS expenditure is less than LS in the first 30 postoperative days regardless of chemotherapy status and may extend to 1 year for AC- patients.

Clinical Institute

Digestive Health

Clinical Institute



Swedish Digestive Health Institute