Death after colectomy: It's later than we think

Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.
Archives of surgery (Chicago, Ill.: 1960) (Impact Factor: 4.93). 11/2009; 144(11):1021-7. DOI: 10.1001/archsurg.2009.197
Source: PubMed


Clinical outcomes are increasingly subject to objective assessment and professional accountability. Informed consent relies on accurate estimation of operative risk. Current scoring systems for assessment of operative mortality after colorectal surgery (CRS) almost uniformly report 30-day mortality and may not represent true risk.
Prospective cohort.
University-affiliated Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
All patients who underwent resections of the colon and/or rectum (as the principal operation) at a single hospital whose data are captured in the Veterans Affairs National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VA-NSQIP) database from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2006.
Mortality at 30 days and 90 days.
The VA-NSQIP cohort included 186 patients who underwent CRS, including 148 patients who underwent elective procedures (79.6%) and 38 patients who underwent emergency procedures (20.4%). All but 8 patients were men, with a median age of 67 years (range, 26-92 years). Laparoscopic operations comprised 24.2% and open operations comprised 75.8%. Most (60.8%) were performed for neoplasms. The actual 30-day mortality rates (all, elective, and emergency procedures) were 4.3%, 1.4%, and 15.8%, respectively. These rates closely mirrored the calculated VA-NSQIP risk-adjusted observed-to-expected ratio for 30-day mortality (4.8%, 1.8%, and 18.2%, respectively). However, mortality at 90 days increased substantially to 9.1%, 4.1%, and 28.9%, respectively.
The 30-day mortality significantly underreports the true risk of death after CRS. The 90-day mortality rate should be included as a standard outcome measure after CRS because it serves as a better estimation of risk for counseling patients.

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    • "The temporal variation in reporting, ranging from in hospital mortality to up to 1 year mortality, means that it is a difficult and poor comparator, and the loss of patients to long-term follow-up is an additional confounder. It has been suggested that 30-day mortality may underestimate short-term patient outcomes following major abdominal surgery, with a significant increase in mortality seen at 90 days [1]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Measurement of outcomes after major abdominal surgery has traditionally focused on mortality, however the low incidence in elective surgery makes this measure a poor comparator. The Postoperative Morbidity Survey (POMS) prospectively assesses short-term morbidity, and may have clinical utility both as a core outcome measure in clinical trials and quality of care. The POMS has been shown to be a valid outcome measure in a mixed surgical population, however it has not been studied in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery. This study assessed the inter-rater reliability and validity of the POMS in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery. Methods Patients undergoing elective major abdominal surgery were visited on postoperative day 1 until discharge by two novice observers who administered the POMS in order to assess inter-rater reliability. Subjects who had previously had the POMS performed prospectively on postoperative days 3 and 5 were identified from a database. The pattern and prevalence of morbidity was analyzed against hospital length of stay (LOS) in order to validate the POMS in this patient group. Results Fifty one patients were recruited to the inter-rater reliability study giving a total of 263 POMS assessments. Inter-rater reliability showed a 97.7% agreement with a κ coefficient of 0.912 (95% CI: 0.842 to 0.982). On domain analysis percentage agreement was lowest in the gastrointestinal domain (87.5%), whilst correlation was lowest in the wound (κ: 0.04; 95% CI: −1.0 to 1.0) and hematological domains (κ: 0.378; 95% CI: 0.035 to 0.722). All other domains showed at least substantial agreement. POMS assessments were analyzed for postoperative days 3 (n = 258) and 5 (n = 362). The absence or presence of morbidity as measured by the POMS was associated with a hospital LOS of 6 (IQR: 4 to 7) vs. 11 (IQR: 8 to 15) days on postoperative day 3 (P <0.0001), and 7 (IQR: 6 to 10) vs. 13 (IQR: 9 to 19) days on postoperative day 5 (P <0.0001). The presence of any morbidity on postoperative day 5 conferred an odds ratio for a prolonged hospital LOS of 11.9 (95% CI: 5.02 to 11.92). Conclusions This study shows that the POMS is both a reliable and valid measure of short-term postoperative morbidity in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery.
    02/2013; 2(1). DOI:10.1186/2047-0525-2-1
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    • "Despite these limitations, the present study provides valuable information, showing that 30-day mortality underreports postoperative mortality after colorectal surgery. This is consistent with previous studies.13,14 Visser et al. reported a doubling of 30-day mortality to 9.1% at 90 days after surgery.13 "
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    ABSTRACT: Thirty-day mortality after surgery for colorectal cancer may vastly underestimate 1-year mortality. This study aimed to quantify the excess mortality in the first postoperative year of stage I-III colorectal cancer patients and to identify risk factors for excess mortality. All 2,131 patients who were operated with curative intent for stage I-III colorectal cancer in the western region of the Netherlands between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2008, were analyzed. Thirty-day mortality and relative survival were calculated. In addition, relative excess risk (RER) of death was estimated by a multivariable model. Thirty-day mortality was 4.9%. One-year mortality was 12.4%. Risk factors for excess mortality in the first postoperative year for colon cancer patients were emergency surgery (excess mortality 29.7%, RER 2.5, 95% confidence interval 2.5-5.0), a Charlson score of >1 (excess mortality 12.6%, RER 2.3, 95% confidence interval 1.5-3.7), stage II or III disease (excess mortality 14.9%, RER 3.9, 95% confidence interval 1.9-8.1), and postoperative adverse events (excess mortality 22.6%, RER 2.1, 95% confidence interval 1.4-3.2). The 30-day mortality rate highly underestimates the risk of dying in the first year after surgery, with excess 1-year mortality rates varying from 15 to 30%. This excess mortality was especially prominent in patients with comorbidities, higher stages of disease, emergency surgery, and postoperative surgical complications.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 03/2012; 19(8):2428-34. DOI:10.1245/s10434-012-2294-6 · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective The prognosis for colorectal cancer (CRC) is less favourable in Denmark than in neighbouring countries. To improve cancer treatment in Denmark, a National Cancer Plan was proposed in 2000. We conducted this population-based study to monitor recent trends in CRC survival and mortality in four Danish counties. Method We used hospital discharge registry data for the period January 1985–March 2004 in the counties of north Jutland, Ringkjøbing, Viborg and Aarhus. We computed crude survival and used Cox proportional hazards regression analysis to compare mortality over time, adjusted for age and gender. A total of 19 515 CRC patients were identified and linked with the Central Office of Civil Registration to ascertain survival through January 2005. Results From 1985 to 2004, 1-year and 5-year survival improved both for patients with colon and rectal cancer. From 1995–1999 to 2000–2004, overall 1-year survival of 65% for colon cancer did not improve, and some age groups experienced a decreasing 1-year survival probability. For rectal cancer, overall 1-year survival increased from 71% in 1995–1999 to 74% in 2000–2004. Using 1985–1989 as reference period, 30-day mortality did not decrease after implementation of the National Cancer Plan in 2000, neither for patients with colon nor rectal cancer. However, 1-year mortality for patients with rectal cancer did decline after its implementation. Conclusion Survival and mortality from colon and rectal cancer improved before the National Cancer Plan was proposed; after its implementation, however, improvement has been observed for rectal cancer only.
    Colorectal Disease 03/2007; 9(3). DOI:10.1111/j.1463-1318.2006.01130.x · 2.35 Impact Factor
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