Aim: The advantages of laparoscopic right hemicolectomy over open surgery for colon cancer in general clinical practice are debated, as evidenced by the continued use of open surgery in a significant proportion of patients worldwide. This study aimed to assess and compare the clinical outcome of laparoscopic and open right hemicolectomy for colon cancer using data from the Japanese National Clinical Database. Methods: A total of 72 299 patients who underwent laparoscopic (n = 46 084) and open (n = 26 215) right hemicolectomy for colon cancer between 2014 and 2018 were enrolled in this retrospective study. Short-term outcome was compared between groups using propensity score matching analysis. Results: The incidence of overall postoperative morbidity ≥ Clavien-Dindo classification grade 3 was significantly higher in the open surgery group than the laparoscopic group (4.7% vs 3.2%, P <.001). The incidence of most individual morbidities, including surgical site infection, anastomotic leakage, and ileus, was higher in the open surgery group. Short-term outcomes, including intraoperative blood loss, postoperative hospital stay, reoperation rate, 30-day mortality, and in-hospital mortality, were superior in the laparoscopic group, except for operative time. Subgroup analyses showed that the incidence of postoperative morbidity was lower in the laparoscopic group for all prespecified subgroups. Conclusion: Laparoscopic right hemicolectomy has an advantage over open surgery for colon cancer with respect to short-term outcome.
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