National Trends and Disparities in the Diffusion of Laparoscopic Surgery for Children in the United States

Yao Tian, Martha Conley E. Ingram, Mehul V. Raval*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Laparoscopic surgery has become the standard of care for many surgical treatments. The diffusion of laparoscopy has been investigated for adult patient populations but is still unknown for pediatric populations. This study sought to describe national trends in diffusion of laparoscopic surgery for common pediatric conditions and identify disparities in use of laparoscopic surgery. Study Design: A retrospective analysis of serial cross-sectional data was performed using the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project's Kids' Inpatient Database from 1997 to 2016. Pediatric patients (ages ≤18) undergoing appendectomy, cholecystectomy, fundoplication, or inguinal hernia repair were identified. The diffusion of laparoscopy for each procedure was measured using the proportion of laparoscopic surgeries over years. Results: National trends demonstrate increases in the use of laparoscopy for children over the past two decades from 13.4% to 88.7% for appendectomy, from 82.6% to 94.9% for cholecystectomy, from 7.4% to 77.4% for fundoplication, and from 1.5% to 23.5% for repair of inguinal hernia (P < .001). Disparities in diffusion of laparoscopy were found from various pediatric populations, and the disparities varied by specific procedures and years. In particular, the proportion of laparoscopic appendectomy in 1997 was 11.3% at urban teaching hospitals and was 13.9% at rural hospitals (P = .01), while the proportions in 2016 increased to 90.8% at urban teaching hospitals versus 71.3% at rural hospitals (P < .001). Conclusions: Laparoscopy has become the standard surgical care for common pediatric surgical conditions. Widening disparities in use of laparoscopic surgery for pediatric populations appear between urban teaching hospitals and rural hospitals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1061-1066
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • disparities
  • laparoscopic surgery
  • pediatric populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'National Trends and Disparities in the Diffusion of Laparoscopic Surgery for Children in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this