Disparities in mangement of patients with benign colorectal disease: Impact of urbanization and specialized care

Viraj Pandit, Mazhar Khalil, Bellal Joseph, Jana Jandova, Tahereh Orouji Jokar, Ansab Abbas Haider, Bardiya Zangbar, Asad Asim, Ahmed Hassan, Valentine Nfonsam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Disparities in the management of patients with various medical conditions are well established. Colorectal diseases continue to remain one of the most common causes for surgical intervention. The aim of this study was to assess disparities (rural versus urban) in the surgical management of patients with noncancerous benign colorectal diseases. We hypothesized that there is no difference among rural versus urban centers (UC) in the surgical management for noncancerous benign colorectal diseases. The national estimates of surgical procedures for benign colorectal diseases from the National Inpatient Sample database 2011 representing 20 percent of all in-patient admissions were abstracted. Patients undergoing procedures (abscess drainage, hemmoroidectomy, fistulectomy, and bowel resections) were included. Patients with colon cancer and those who underwent emergency surgery were excluded. The population was divided into two groups: urban and rural, based on the location of treatment. Outcome measures were in-hospital complications, mortality, and hospital costs. Subanalysis of UC was preformed: centers with colorectal surgeons and centers without colorectal surgeons. Regression analysis was performed. A total of 20,617 patients who underwent surgical intervention for benign colorectal diseases across 496 (urban: 342, rural: 154) centers, were included. Of the UC, 38.3 percent centers had colorectal surgeons. Patients managed in UC had lower complication rate (7.6% vs 10.2%, P < 0.001), shorter hospital length of stay (4.7 6 3.1 vs 5.9 6 3.6 days, P < 0.001), and higher hospital costs ($56,820 $27,691 vs $49,341 $2,598, P < 0.001) compared with rural centers. On subanalysis, patients managed in UC with colorectal surgeons had 11 percent lower incidence of in-hospital complications [odds ratio: 0.89 (95% confidence interval: 0.76-0.94)] and a shorter hospital length of stay [Beta: 20.72 (95% confidence interval: 20.81 to 20.65)] when compared with patients managed in UC without colorectal specialization. Disparities exit in outcomes of the patients with noncancerous benign colorectal diseases managed surgically in urban versus rural centers. Specialized care with colorectal surgeons at UC helps reduce adverse patient outcomes. Steps to provide effective and safe surgical care in a cost-effective manner across rural as well as UC are warranted. Level of evidence: Level III, retrospective cohort analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1046-1051
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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