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Abstract

Background:

This study aimed to describe national intermediate-term admission rates for incisional hernia or clinically apparent adhesions following colorectal surgery, and to compare rates following laparoscopic and open approaches.

Methods:

Patients undergoing primary colorectal resection between 2002 and 2008 were included from the Hospital Episode Statistics database. Subsequent inpatient admissions were extracted for up to 3 years after the initial operation or to the end of the study period. Outcomes examined were admissions with a diagnosis of, or operative interventions for, incisional hernia or adhesions.

Results:

A total of 187 148 patients were included between 2002 and 2008, with median follow-up of 31·8 (interquartile range 13·1–35·3) months. Some 8885 (4·7 per cent) of these patients were admitted with a diagnosis of, or underwent a repair of, an incisional hernia. In multiple regression analysis, use of laparoscopy was not a predictor of operative intervention for incisional hernia (odds ratio 1·09, 95 per cent confidence interval (c.i.) 0·99 to 1·21; P = 0·083). Some 15 125 (8·1 per cent) of the patients were admitted with a diagnosis of adhesions or had a procedure for division of adhesions. Overall, 3·5 per cent (6637 of 187 148) of patients underwent adhesiolysis. Patients selected for a laparoscopic procedure had lower rates of admission for adhesions (6·3 per cent (692 of 11 013) for laparoscopic versus 8·2 per cent (14 433 of 176 135) for open surgery; P < 0·001) and reintervention for adhesions (2·8 per cent (305 of 11 013) versus 3·6 per cent (6325 of 176 135) respectively; P < 0·001) than those undergoing an open procedure. In multiple regression analysis, patients selected for a laparoscopic procedure had lower subsequent intervention rates for adhesions (odds ratio 0·80, 95 per cent c.i. 0·71 to 0·90; P < 0·001).

Discussion:

Patients undergoing colorectal resection who are selected for the laparoscopic approach have a lower risk of developing clinically significant adhesions. Copyright © 2012 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.