Impact of hospital case volume on the quality of laparoscopic colectomy in Japan

Kazuaki Kuwabara, Shinya Matsuda, Kiyohide Fushimi, Koichi B. Ishikawa, Hiromasa Horiguchi, Kenji Fujimori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction - The increased use of laparoscopic colectomy for colon cancer requires the evaluation of hospital case volume, quality care, and training systems, considering the difficulty of this surgery for various tumor locations. Materials and methods - We assessed the quality of this procedure in Japan, based on hospital case volume and tumor location. A total of 3,765 patients were enrolled across 567 hospitals between July and December 2007. We analyzed patient characteristics, postoperative surgical complications, the administration of stapling devices or chemotherapy, hospital volume and teaching status, postoperative length of stay, total charges, and operating room time. Hospitals were classified into four case-volume categories: high (≥5 cases per month), intermediate to high (3-4), low to intermediate (1-2), and low (<1). Multivariate analysis was used to test the impact of hospital category and tumor location. Results - Ten high-volume hospitals performed 401 cases, while 355 low-volume hospitals did 903. Hospital case volume, operating time, and complications affected postoperative stay and total costs. Longer procedural time was an independent predictor of complications. Tumor location, case volume, and teaching status explained the variations in procedural time individually but not complications. Training systems highlighting the applicability of techniques are important to promote the quality of laparoscopic colectomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1619-1626
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Hospital volume
  • Laparoscopic colectomy
  • Quality
  • Tumor location

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology

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