Objectives: Laparoscopic abdominal surgery (LS) has been prevailing over open surgery (OS). However, its functional outcomes in the aging generation have not been sufficiently examined. We compared changes in physical status and earlier resumption of oral intake between LS and OS. Methods: Using the Japanese administrative database, we matched variables affecting LS and compared them between LS and OS patients. During the 6-month period from July to December of 2006-2010, we examined the data from data from surviving patients of ≥15 year old who underwent isolated gastrectomy, colectomy, or anterior resection. Functional status was estimated by the Barthel index (BI) at admission and discharge. Outcomes were postoperative complications, BI deterioration, change in BI, and day of recommencing postoperative oral intake. Results: We identified 30,763 gastrectomies (laparoscopic: 7297), 31,958 colectomies (laparoscopic: 9364), and 12,545 anterior resections (laparoscopic: 4351). Variation in LS indications was observed in patient and hospital mixes. Among the paired-matched gastrectomy, colectomy, and anterior resection groups, LS was associated with fewer complications and earlier recovery of postoperative oral intake. Laparoscopic anterior resection (LAR) and colectomy were associated with less frequent BI deterioration. Longer operative time was associated with more complications, which then influenced BI deterioration in patients who underwent anterior resection. Conclusions: Shorter operative time for LAR was associated with less functional deterioration than for laparoscopic gastrectomy and colectomy. Physicians should consider the appropriate indications for LS by concurrently avoiding unnecessary longer operations and their associated complications. More investment in teaching the skills necessary for LAR is recommended.
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