Adverse events after surgery for nonmalignant colon polyps are common and associated with increased length of stay and costs

Gastrointest Endosc. 2016 Aug;84(2):296-303.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2016.01.048. Epub 2016 Jan 30.


Background and aims: Endoscopic resection (ER) is a safe and effective treatment for nonmalignant complex colorectal polyps (complex polyps). Surgical resection (SR) remains prevalent despite limited outcomes data. We aimed to evaluate SR outcomes for complex polyps and compare SR outcomes to those of ER.

Methods: We performed a single-center, retrospective, cohort study of all patients undergoing SR (2003-2013) and ER (2011-2013) for complex polyps. We excluded patients with invasive carcinoma from the SR cohort. Primary outcomes were 12-month adverse event (AE) rate, length of stay (LOS), and costs. SR outcomes over a 3-year period (2011-2013) were compared with the overlapping ER cohort.

Results: Over the 11-year period, 359 patients (mean [± SD] age 64 ± 11 years) underwent SR (58% laparoscopic) for complex polyps. In total, 17% experienced an AE, and 3% required additional surgery; 12-month mortality was 1%. Including readmissions, median LOS was 5 days (IQR 4-7 days), and costs were $14,528. When an AE occurred, costs ($25,557 vs $14,029; P < .0001) and LOS (11 vs 5 days; P < .0001) significantly increased. From 2011 to 2013, 198 patients were referred for ER, and 73 underwent primary SR (70% laparoscopic). There was a lower AE rate for ER versus primary SR (10% vs 18%; P = .09). ER costs (including rescue SR, when required) were lower than those of primary SR ($2152 vs $15,264; P < .0001).

Conclusions: AEs occur in approximately one-sixth of patients after SR for complex polyps. ER-accounting for rescue SR caused by malignancy, AEs, or incomplete resection-is associated with markedly lower costs than SR. These data should be used when counseling patients about treatment options for complex polyps.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / surgery*
  • Aged
  • Colectomy*
  • Colonic Polyps / surgery*
  • Colonoscopy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Endoscopic Mucosal Resection*
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / economics
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / economics
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States