Postoperative Complications and Mortality Following Colectomy for Ulcerative Colitis

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology: the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (Impact Factor: 7.9). 07/2011; 9(11):972-80. DOI: 10.1016/j.cgh.2011.07.016
Source: PubMed


Complications after colectomy for ulcerative colitis (UC) have not been well characterized in large, population-based studies. We characterized postoperative in-hospital complications, stratified them by severity, and assessed independent clinical predictors, including use of immunosuppressants.
We performed population-based surveillance using administrative databases to identify all adults (≥18 y) who had an International Classification of Diseases-9th/10th revisions code for UC and a colectomy from 1996 to 2009. All medical charts were reviewed. The primary outcome was severe postoperative complications, including in-hospital mortality. Logistic regression was used to assess predictors of complications after colectomy and then restricted to patients undergoing emergent or elective surgeries.
Of the 666 UC patients who underwent a colectomy, a postoperative complication occurred in 27.0% and the mortality rate was 1.5%. Independent predictors of postoperative complications were age (for patients >64 vs 18-34 y: odds ratio [OR], 1.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07-3.54), comorbidities (>2 vs none: OR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.06-3.37), and admission status (emergent vs elective colectomy: OR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.14-2.30). Significant risk factors for an emergent colectomy included time from admission to colectomy (>14 vs 3-14 d: OR, 3.32; 95% CI, 1.62-6.80) and a preoperative complication (≥1 vs 0: OR, 3.04; 95% CI, 1.33-6.91). A prescription of immunosuppressants before colectomies did not increase the risk for postoperative complications.
Postoperative complications frequently occur after colectomy for UC, predominantly among elderly patients with multiple comorbidities. Patients who were admitted to the hospital under emergency conditions and did not respond to medical treatment had worse outcomes when surgery was performed 14 or more days after admission.

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    • "This is possibly because medical salvage therapies, including immunomodulatory and/or biological therapies, may increase morbidity and mortality, suggesting that early surgery is associated with lower mortality in older patients. Moreover, de Silva et al. [16] reported that patients who were admitted to hospital under emergency conditions and did not respond to medical treatment had a worse outcome when surgery was performed 14 or more days after their presentation. Since the prognosis associated with emergency surgery under these conditions is very poor, physicians and surgeons should collaborate to treat severe and fulminant UC, so as to avoid errors in the timing of surgery. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Since 2000, the incidence of ulcerative colitis (UC) in patients over 60 years old has been rapidly increasing. We reviewed our surgical experience of elderly patients with UC treated at our hospital. Methods Patients aged 60 years or older at the time of surgery were defined as “elderly”. The medical records of all elderly patients who underwent surgery for UC during a 26-year period were retrospectively analyzed. Results The prognosis of elderly patients who underwent emergency surgery was extremely poor: 8 (26.7 %) of 30 such patients died within 30 postoperative days (PODs), whereas only 1 (0.88 %) of 114 who underwent elective surgery died within 30 PODs. Respiratory tract infection and sepsis resulting from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or mycotic infection were the most common causes of death after emergency surgery. Conclusion The prognosis of elderly UC patients undergoing emergency surgery is very poor; thus, physicians and surgeons should collaborate to treat severe and fulminant disease, to optimize the timing of surgery. Early decisions about emergency surgery for UC will reduce postoperative mortality, especially in elderly patients.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Surgery Today
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    • "In the administrative database, elective colectomies were defined as those coded with an ‘elective’ status, while emergent colectomies were defined using a composite of either ‘emergent’ or ‘urgent’ codes. Age, comorbidity, and admission type were a priori defined as preoperative risk factors and subsequently validated because previous studies have shown that they were associated with postoperative complications in UC patients [11,21]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Ulcerative colitis (UC) patients failing medical management require colectomy. This study compares risk estimates for predictors of postoperative complication derived from administrative data against that of chart review and evaluates the accuracy of administrative coding for this population. Hospital administrative databases were used to identify adults with UC undergoing colectomy from 1996-2007. Medical charts were reviewed and regression analyses comparing chart versus administrative data were performed to assess the effect of age, emergent operation, and Charlson comorbidities on the occurrence of postoperative complications. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive/negative predictive values of administrative coding for identifying the study population, Charlson comorbidities, and postoperative complications were assessed. Compared to chart review, administrative data estimated a higher magnitude of effect for emergent admission (OR 2.52 [95% CI: 1.80-3.52] versus 1.49 [1.06-2.09]) and Charlson comorbidities (OR 2.91 [1.86-4.56] versus 1.50 [1.05-2.15]) as predictors of postoperative complications. Administrative data correctly identified UC and colectomy in 85.9% of cases. The administrative database was 37% sensitive in identifying patients with ≥ 1Charlson comorbidity. Restricting analysis to active comorbidities increased the sensitivity to 63%. The sensitivity of identifying patients with at least one postoperative complication was 68%; restricting analysis to more severe complications improved the sensitivity to 84%. Administrative data identified the same risk factors for postoperative complications as chart review, but overestimated the magnitude of risk. This discrepancy may be explained by coding inaccuracies that selectively identifying the most serious complications and comorbidities.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · BMC Gastroenterology
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    ABSTRACT: The majority of patients with ulcerative colitis can be managed satisfactorily throughout their lives by medical treatment, but a minority require colectomy. In severe attacks, emergency surgery is often required to save the patient's life. In chronic disease not responding well to medical treatment, elective colectomy will restore the patient to good health. Colectomy is also necessary for certain local complications, such as cancer, severe fistulas, and strictures. Prophylactic colectomy is indicated in patients with long-standing disease in whom there are factors associated with a high risk of developing cancer of the large bowel. For all these indications, it is our opinion that single-stage proctocolectomy is the operation of choice in the great majority of patients. Finally, we consider that the best results are obtained when the physician and the surgeon work together in the closest possible cooperation.
    No preview · Article · Feb 1980 · World Journal of Surgery
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