Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BackgroundPatients with colonic cancer who require emergency colonic cancer surgery often experience poorer outcomes compared with their elective counterparts. In this setting, several treatments approaches are available. In 2009, Danish guidelines recommended treatment with stent for obstruction in left-sided tumours as a bridge to surgery, if expertise is accessible. The aim of this study was to compare the use of elective and emergency resections for colonic cancer and postoperative mortality in two similar demographic populations.MethodsAll patients who underwent a major resection for colonic cancer, between 2005 and 2016 in Denmark and Yorkshire (UK) were identified. The proportion undergoing emergency surgery, the proportion receiving a stent procedure before their resection, and 30-day postoperative mortality were compared between the populations. Logistic regression was used to determine changes in the proportion of those undergoing emergency surgery and 30-day postoperative mortality.ResultsOut of 45 397 patients treated during the study interval, 41 880 were selected. Emergency surgery decreased in Denmark from 16.6 per cent in 2005-07 to 12.9 per cent in 2014-16, but increased in Yorkshire (13.5 per cent to 16.8 per cent). Danish patients with left-sided tumours were less likely to undergo emergency surgery (risk ratio 0.90, 95 per cent c.i. 0.82 to 0.99) and an increase in stent use coincided with a statistically significant decrease in emergency surgery in these patients. Thirty-day postoperative mortality in all resections (elective and emergency) decreased in both populations, but a larger decrease was observed in Denmark (7.7 per cent to 3.0 per cent in Denmark and 7.1 per cent to 3.3 per cent in Yorkshire).ConclusionPatients in Denmark experienced a reduction in the use of emergency resection and increase in stenting procedures, following the policy implemented in some departments of converting potential emergency resections into elective resections.

Original publication




Journal article


BJS open

Publication Date





Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.


YCR BCIP Study Group, Humans, Colonic Neoplasms, Postoperative Period, Stents, Elective Surgical Procedures