Disparities in utilization of laparoscopic colectomies in pediatric Crohn's disease

Gareth P. Gilna, Rebecca A. Saberi, Christopher F. O'Neil, Walter A. Ramsey, Carlos T. Huerta, Amber H. Langshaw, Joshua P. Parreco, Juan E. Sola, Chad M. Thorson, Eduardo A. Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Pediatric patients with Crohn's disease often require colectomies. The laparoscopic approach is considered safe, but there is little national data on outcomes and readmissions in this population. Methods: The Nationwide Readmissions Database was queried from 2010 to 2014 for patients ≤ 18 years who underwent colectomy for Crohn's disease during index admission. Patients were stratified by operative approach: laparoscopic versus open. Outcomes were compared with standard statistical methods. Results: There were 2833 patients (47% female) who underwent a colectomy via laparoscopic (58%) vs. open (42%) approach. Index admissions were elective 55% of the time. Most operations were right hemicolectomy (86%), followed by total colectomy (8%). Of the study population, 489 (17%) were diverted with an ostomy. Readmission rates at 30 days and 1 year were 9% and 18%, respectively. The most common diagnoses at readmission were intra-abdominal infection (16%), small bowel obstruction (16%), and surgical site infection (9%). Laparoscopy was more commonly performed during elective admissions (63% vs. 44%), for patient with private insurance (72% vs. 39%), and for patients in the highest income quartile (66% vs. 48% in the lowest income quartile), all p<0.001. Length of stay was longer on index admission for open colectomy (8[5–12] days vs. 6[4–11] days, p<0.001), while cost was similar ($17,754[$12,375-$30,625] vs. $17,017[$11,219-$27,336], p = 0.104). There were no differences in readmission rate, intraabdominal infection or small bowel obstruction. Conclusion: In pediatric patients, laparoscopic colectomy for Crohn's disease is safe and is associated with shorter hospitalization and equivalent hospital costs compared to the open procedure. Socioeconomic disparities in laparoscopic utilization exist and warrant future investigation. Level of Evidence: Level III

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Colectomy
  • Crohn's disease
  • Disparities
  • Laparoscopy
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Readmissions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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