Go to content

Trends in colon cancer surgery in Ontario: 2002-2009


Aim — The safety and efficacy of laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer is well established but its uptake in the province has not been previously explored. We report an investigation of the trends of open and laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer in Ontario, Canada.

Method — A retrospective cross-sectional time-series analysis examining population-based rates of elective surgery for colon cancer among 10.5 million adults in Ontario was conducted from 1 April 2002 to 31 March 2009. Databases were linked to assess quarterly elective procedure rates over time.

Results — During the study period, 3,950 laparoscopic and 13,048 open elective colon cancer operations were performed in Ontario. The overall quarterly rate of colon cancer surgery remained stable at an average of 5.8 per 100,000 population (P=0.10). From the first and last quarter, the rate of laparoscopic operations increased nearly threefold from 0.8 to 2.2 per 100,000 population with a notable increase after 2005 (P<0.01). In contrast, open surgery decreased by more than 30% from 5.3 to 3.5 per 100 000 population (P<0.01). If current trends continue, the projected proportion of laparoscopic colon operations is estimated to reach 41% by 2015. Patients receiving open surgery had a significantly higher preoperative comorbidity (Charlson comorbidity score≥3) than those having laparoscopy (47.8%vs 39.1%, standardized difference 0.26).

Conclusion — Trends in Ontario of laparoscopic colon cancer surgery show an increase between 2002 and 2009, but the incidence remains lower than for open surgery.



Chan BP, Gomes T, Musselman RP, Auer RC, Moloo H, Mamdani M, Al-Omran M, Boushey RP, Alobeed O. Colorectal Dis. 2012; 14(10):e708-12. Epub 2012 Sep 11.

Contributing ICES Scientists

Associated Sites