Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 14, Issue 11, pp 1732–1741 | Cite as

Alcohol Exposure as a Risk Factor for Adverse Outcomes in Elective Surgery

  • Bharath Nath
  • YouFu Li
  • James E. Carroll
  • Gyongyi Szabo
  • Jennifer F. Tseng
  • Shimul A. Shah
2010 SSAT Plenary Presentation


Background and Aims

Alcohol consumption is a well-documented determinant of adverse perioperative outcome. We sought to determine the effect of active alcohol consumption following elective surgery.


We queried discharge records from the American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP, 2005–2007) for all elective adult admissions. The 7,631 (2.5%) patients with documented alcohol use (active alcohol use of at least two drinks per day within 2 weeks of surgery; ETOH use) underwent elective surgery; 301,994 (97.5%) patients denied ETOH use. Multivariate analysis was performed with adjustments for demographic and comorbid factors. Primary outcome measures included length of stay (LOS), postoperative complications, and death.


ETOH use associated with elective surgery decreased over the course of the study (p < 0.0001). ETOH use was an independent predictor of pneumonia (OR 1.98, 95% CI 1.84–2.13), sepsis (OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.03–1.37), superficial surgical site infection (SSI; OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.02–1.31), wound disruption (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.11–1.80), and prolonged LOS (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.08–1.26). Except for SSI, these complications were independent risk factors for postoperative mortality. ETOH use was associated with earlier time to wound disruption (9 vs. 11 days; p = 0.04), longer median hospital stays (5 vs. 3 days; p < 0.0001), and longer LOS after operation (4 vs. 3 days; p < 0.0001).


Active alcohol consumption is a significant determinant of adverse outcomes in elective surgery; patients with ETOH use who are scheduled to undergo elective surgery should be appropriately educated and counseled.


NSQIP Alcohol use Elective surgery 


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bharath Nath
    • 1
  • YouFu Li
    • 1
  • James E. Carroll
    • 1
  • Gyongyi Szabo
    • 2
  • Jennifer F. Tseng
    • 1
  • Shimul A. Shah
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Surgical Outcomes Analysis & Research (SOAR)University of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA

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