Black patients more likely to get emergency colorectal cancer surgery

Dec. 27, 2022
Emergency surgery was linked to less thorough pre-surgical assessments and worse outcomes after surgery.

In an analysis of data from hospitals across the state of Michigan, University of Michigan researchers found that Black, non-Hispanic patients were more likely to undergo emergency surgery for colorectal cancer than other races and ethnicities. 

Undergoing emergency surgery was associated with a higher rate of complications, including death. Out of close to 5,000 patients who underwent any type of surgery for colorectal cancer, 23% had emergency surgery — but those patients made up 63% of the deaths. 

Patients who underwent emergency surgery also received less complete evaluations and testing as part of their workup by surgeons and their medical teams. 

The research team used data from the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative, a statewide initiative funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan that aims to improve the quality and cost of surgical care across the state. 

U of M Health release