Evaluation of Minimally Invasive Surgical Therapies for Ulcerative Colitis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



American Surgeon








Laparoscopic surgery; Robotic surgery; Ulcerative colitis


© The Author(s) 2020 Introduction: Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory intestinal disorder that can be managed surgically with a proctocolectomy. Minimally invasive techniques such as laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgery are available based on the surgeon’s preference and familiarity. To date, there is a paucity of literature evaluating the safety of these techniques in comparison to the open approach in patients with UC. Methods: We surveyed the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database to select patients with the diagnosis of UC who underwent either robotic, laparoscopic, or open proctocolectomy between 2012 and 2017. A total of 2129 patients were included in the study. The 30-day postoperative outcomes were compared using multivariable logistic regression models after adjusting for confounding variables. The confounding variables were defined as any preoperative variable that was associated with the type of procedure. Results: The 30-day postoperative outcomes reported in the NSQIP database were reviewed for each of the treatment groups (open, laparoscopic, and robotic). The anastomotic leak rate was significantly higher in the open group (P = .022). The robotic and laparoscopic groups had significantly fewer occurrences of postoperative ileus (P = .0006) and wound infections (P < .0001). There were significantly more strokes, cardiac events, and pulmonary events in the open surgical group. Operative time was significantly shorter in the open group (P < .0001). Reintervention rates were not significantly different among the groups. Conclusions: Minimally invasive proctocolectomy has significantly fewer postoperative complications compared with open proctocolectomy for UC. There is no significant difference in the postoperative outcomes between robotic-assisted and laparoscopic proctocolectomy.

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