The Impact of Hospital Volume on Surgical Outcome in Patients with Rectal Cancer

Marit Kressner, Måns Bohe, Bjorn Cedermark, Michael Dahlberg, Lena Damber, Gudrun Lindmark, Bjorn Ojerskog, Rune Sjodahl, Robert Johansson, Lars Pahlman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceedingpeer-review

32 Citations (SciVal)


PURPOSE: This study was designed to investigate, in a population-based setting, the surgical outcome in patients with rectal cancer according to the hospital volume. METHODS: Since 1995 all patients with rectal cancer have been registered in the Swedish Rectal Cancer Registry. Hospitals were classified, according to number treated per year, as low-volume, intermediate-volume, or high-volume hospitals (< 11, 11-25, or >25 procedures per year). Postoperative mortality, reoperation rate within 30 days, local recurrence rate, and overall five-year survival were studied. For postoperative morbidity and mortality the whole cohort from 1995 to 2003 (n = 10,425) was used. For cancer-related outcome only, those with five-year follow-ups, from 1995 to 1998, were used (n = 4,355). RESULTS: In this registry setting the postoperative mortality rate was 3.6% in low-volume hospitals, and 2.2% in intermediate- volume and high-volume hospitals (P = 0.002). The reoperation rate was 10%, with no differences according to volume. The overall local recurrence rates were 9.4%, 9.3%, and 7.5%, respectively (P = 0.06). Significant difference was found among the nonirradiated patients (P = 0.004), but not among the irradiated patients (P = 0.45). No differences were found according to volume in the absolute five-year survival. CONCLUSION: Postoperative mortality and local recurrence in nonirradiated patients were lower in high-volume hospitals. No difference was seen between volumes in reoperation rates, overall local recurrence, or absolute five-year survival.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiseases of the Colon & Rectum
PublisherLippincott Williams & Wilkins
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventSwedish Surgical Week, 2008 - Umea, Sweden
Duration: 2008 Aug 182008 Aug 22

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1530-0358
ISSN (Electronic)0012-3706


ConferenceSwedish Surgical Week, 2008

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Surgery


  • Local recurrence
  • Survival
  • Outcome
  • Caseload
  • Rectal cancer
  • Hospital volume


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