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J Am Coll Surg. 2008 May;206(5):953-9; discussion 959-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2008.01.018. Epub 2008 Mar 24.

Open and laparoscopic adrenalectomy: analysis of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.

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Division of Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Surgery, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.



Numerous series demonstrate the benefits of laparoscopic versus open adrenalectomy, but fail to adjust for confounding factors. This study uses the Veterans Affairs National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database to compare these two approaches, adjusting for baseline differences.


Laparoscopic (n=358) and open (n=311) adrenalectomy data were collected at 123 Department of Veterans Affairs and 14 university hospitals from October 1, 2001 to September 30, 2004. Preoperative characteristics, operative data, and 30-day outcomes were compared using the chi-square or Fisher's exact test for categorical variables and the t-test for continuous variables. Unadjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were computed for the effect of operative approach on postoperative morbidity. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% CI were computed for this same effect, adjusting for variables that were predictive of outcomes or imbalanced at baseline. Data are reported as means +/-SD, unless otherwise indicated.


Patients undergoing open adrenalectomy were more likely to be older (57.8+/-11.9 years versus 53.5+/-13.2 years, p < 0.0001), harbor malignancy (44.5% versus 13.5%, p < 0.0001), have higher American Society of Anesthesiologists classifications (p=0.0037), smoke (35.4% versus 22.6%, p=0.0003), and have lower serum albumin levels (3.9+/-0.5 g/dL versus 4.0+/-0.5 g/dL, p=0.0241). Open procedures had increased operative times (3.9+/-1.8 hours versus 2.9+/-1.3 hours, p < 0.0001), transfusion requirements (0.7+/-1.8 U versus 0.1+/-0.5 U, p<0.0001), reoperations (4.8% versus 1.4%, p=0.0094), length of stay (9.4+/-11.0 days versus 4.1+/-4.7 days, p < 0.0001) and 30-day morbidity rates (17.4% versus 3.6%, p < 0.0001) with unadjusted and adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) of 5.52 (2.94, 10.33), and 3.97 (1.92, 8.22), respectively. Open procedures resulted in more pneumonia, unplanned intubation, unsuccessful ventilator wean, systemic sepsis, cardiac arrest, renal insufficiency, and wound infections.


Even after adjustment for confounding factors, 30-day morbidity was much higher for patients having open adrenalectomy.

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