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Readmissions after Pancreaticoduodenectomy: Efforts Need to Focus on Patient Expectations and Nonhospital Medical Care

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Readmissions after operations are a burden. This study was undertaken to determine factors predicting readmissions after pancreaticoduodenectomy. Since 1991, patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy have been prospectively followed. Nineteen per cent of 913 patients were readmitted within 30 days after discharge from pancreaticoduodenectomy. The causes for readmissions were reviewed. Median data are presented. All patients had preoperative comorbidities; most common were cardiovascular (26%), gastrointestinal (23%), or endocrine (15%). Twenty-nine per cent had extended pancreaticoduodenectomy, including major vascular resections. The most common reasons for readmission were: nausea/vomiting (26%), wound infection (15%), and abdominal pain (18%). Gender, body mass index, duration of operation, blood loss, length of stay, pathology, American Joint Committee on Cancer™ stage, and margin status did not predict readmission. Patients being readmitted were younger (65 vs 69 years, P < 0.001) and had more comorbidities (P < 0.001). Readmission did not curtail long-term survival. Pancreaticoduodenectomy is a complex operation undertaken in patients with notable comorbidities. Readmissions occur frequently after pancreaticoduodenectomy and patients with more comorbidities are at particular risk. Readmissions are not generally the result of complications specific to pancreaticoduodenectomy, but seem more related to ill health, inaccessible nonhospital medical care, and poor expectations. Efforts must focus on patient expectations, intermediate care, home health care, and improving medical care after discharge.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Tampa General Medical Group, Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, Florida, USA 2: Department of Surgery, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, Florida, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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