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Synchronous primary colorectal and liver metastasis: impact of operative approach on clinical outcomes and hospital charges


  • Funding: AE was supported in part by the Eleanor B. Pillsbury Foundation for Surgical Research.



The management of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) and synchronous colorectal liver metastasis (CLM) remains controversial. The present study was conducted in order to assess the clinical and economic impacts of managing synchronous CLM with a staged versus a simultaneous surgery approach.


A total of 224 patients treated for synchronous CLM during 1990–2012 were identified in the Johns Hopkins Hospital liver database. Data on clinicopathological features, perioperative outcomes and total hospital charges (inflation-adjusted) were collected and analysed.


Overall, 113 (50.4%) patients underwent staged surgery and 111 (49.6%) were submitted to a simultaneous CRC and liver operation. At surgery, liver-directed therapy included hepatectomy (75.0%) or combined resection and ablation (25.0%). Perioperative morbidity (30.0%) and mortality (1.3%) did not differ between groups (both P > 0.05). Median total length of hospitalization was longer in the staged (13 days) than the simultaneous (7 days) surgery group (P < 0.001). Median total hospital charges were higher among patients undergoing staged surgery (US$61 938) than among those undergoing a simultaneous operation (US$34 114) (P < 0.01). Median (simultaneous, 32.4 months versus staged, 39.6 months; P = 0.65) and 5-year (simultaneous, 27% versus staged, 29%; P = 0.60) overall survival were similar between groups.


Patients with synchronous CLM managed with either simultaneous or staged surgery have comparable perioperative and longterm outcomes. However, patients treated with simultaneous surgery spent an average of 6 days fewer in hospital, resulting in a reduction of median hospital charges of US$27 824 (55.1%). When appropriate and technically feasible, the simultaneous surgery approach to synchronous CLM should be preferred.