Laparoscopic surgery has become the preferred surgical approach of several colorectal conditions. However, the economic results of this are quite controversial. The degree of adoption of laparoscopic technology, as well as the aptitude of the surgeons, can have an influence not only in the clinical outcomes but also in the total procedure cost. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical and economic outcomes of laparoscopic colorectal surgeries, compared to open procedures in Brazil.All patients who underwent elective colorectal surgeries between January 2012 and December 2013 were eligible to the retrospective cohort. The considered follow-up period was within 30 days from the index procedure. The outcomes evaluated were the length of stay, blood transfusion, intensive care unit admission, in-hospital mortality, use of antibiotics, the development of anastomotic leakage, readmission, and the total hospital costs including re-admissions.Two hundred eighty patients, who met the eligibility criteria, were included in the analysis. Patients in the laparoscopic group had a shorter length of stay in comparison with the open group (6.02 ± 3.86 vs 9.86 ± 16.27, P < .001). There were no significant differences in other clinical outcomes between the 2 groups. The total costs were similar between the 2 groups, in the multivariate analysis (generalized linear model ratio of means 1.20, P = .074). The cost predictors were the cancer diagnosis and age.Laparoscopic colorectal surgery presents a 17% decrease in the duration of the hospital stay without increasing the total hospitalization costs. The factors associated with increased hospital costs were age and the diagnosis of cancer.
Health Care in Guatemala.
There are 10 hospitals with general surgery training programs in Guatemala. Of those 10 hospitals, only 3 are tertiary care hospitals, and all of these are located in Guatemala City. Two are part of the public health system and the other belongs to a semiprivate public health system. There are currently no colorectal training programs. If a Guatemalan surgeon wishes to pursue a career in coloproctology, he or she has to look for training opportunities abroad.