Background Several studies have advocated laparoscopic simple closure (LSC) as the treatment of choice for perforated peptic ulcer disease (PUD). However, there has been no comprehensive community-based evaluation of the advantages of using LSC over open simple closure (OSC). Using an administrative database, we evaluated LSC versus OSC for patients with perforated ulcers. Methods From 6,334 patients with perforated ulcers, we identified 2,909 simple closure cases between 2006 and 2010. Study variables were demographics, mortality, co-morbidities, complications, ulcer location, surgical timing, blood transfusion, postoperative ventilation, operating room (OR) time, time to resumption of oral food intake, length of stay (LOS), and total charges. After matching patient baseline variables between OSC and LSC, we performed multivariate analyses to assess the impacts of LSC on mortality, complications, and ventilation administration. Results A total of 2,073 OSC cases and 836 LSC cases were identified in 670 hospitals. Younger age, duodenal ulcer, and pre-existing PUD were indicators for selection of LSC. Matching analysis indicated a correlation between LSC and lower mortality, less frequent postoperative and overall blood transfusion, shorter LOS, earlier return to oral intake, and longer OR time. There was no difference between OSC and LSC in complication rate or mortality. Longer OR time was correlated with a higher complication rate and the need for ventilation, the latter of which was independently associated with an increase in mortality. Conclusions Because longer OR time was associated with more frequent complications and ventilation, surgeons should obtain the skills and strategies necessary to accomplish LSC without extending OR time improperly.
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