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Factors Related to Readmission After Major Elective Surgery

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Hospital readmissions have received increased scrutiny as a marker for excessive resource utilization and also quality care.


To identify the rate of and risk factors for hospital readmission after major surgery at academic medical centers.


Using the University Health Consortium Clinical Database, 30-day readmission rates in all adult patients undergoing colectomy (n = 103,129), lung resection (n = 73,558), gastric bypass (n = 62,010) or abdominal aortic surgery (n = 17,997) from 2009 to 2012 were identified. Logistic regression was performed to examine risks for readmission.


Overall readmission rates ranged from 8.9 % after gastric bypass to 15.8 % after colectomy. Black race was associated with increased likelihood for readmission after three of the four procedures with odds ratios ranging from 1.13 after colectomy to 1.44 after gastric bypass. For all procedures, moderate, severe, or extreme severity of illness (SOI) and need for transitional care were associated with increased odds for hospital readmission. Lower center volume was an independent predictor of readmission after gastric bypass surgery and aortic surgery.


Readmission rates after major elective surgery are high across national academic centers. Center volume, SOI, and need for transitional care after discharge are factors associated with readmission and may be used to identify patients at high risk of readmission and hospital utilization after major surgery.

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Correspondence to Shimul A. Shah.

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Wilson, G.C., Cutler Quillin, R., Sutton, J.M. et al. Factors Related to Readmission After Major Elective Surgery. Dig Dis Sci 60, 47–53 (2015).

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