(HealthDay News) — Laparoscopic resection for colon cancer in elderly patients is associated with lower risk of discharge to a nursing facility compared with open surgery, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons, held from Oct. 6 to 10 in Washington, D.C.

Related: Gastrointestinal Cancers Resource Center

Richard Y. Liu, M.D., of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, and colleagues reviewed data for 9,416 patients older than 70 years who underwent colon cancer resection (open, 5,704; laparoscopic, 3,712) in the United States. The authors sought to assess the association between surgical technique and discharge to a nursing facility.

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The researchers found that fewer patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery (12.5%) were discharged to a nursing facility compared to those undergoing open surgery (20.0%). Multivariate analysis showed that laparoscopic surgery was associated with significantly decreased risk of discharge to a nursing facility (adjusted odds ratio, 0.61).

“Laparoscopic procedures for colon cancer are becoming a more prevalent option for all types of patients, and it should be considered particularly for the elderly because it may help them maintain the quality of life they desire,” Liu said in a statement.