An evaluation of the timing of surgical complications following nephrectomy: data from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP).

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World journal of urology


PURPOSE: The rates of complications following radical/partial nephrectomy (RN/PN) are well known; however, the data regarding timing are opaque. Accordingly, we sought to assess the median time-to-event for 19 principal postoperative complications within 30 days following surgery.

METHODS: Patients undergoing RN/PN were identified within the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database (2005-2011). Primary endpoint was time-to-complication. Secondary endpoints included length-of-stay (LOS), re-intervention, re-admission and 30-day mortality. Multivariable regression models assessed the predictors for pre-/post-discharge complications and the effect of time-to-complication on secondary outcomes.

RESULTS: Overall, 3820 patients underwent nephrectomy (RN = 63.6 %). The overall complication rate was 16.8 %, and the median LOS was 4 days. The majority of major complications (88.1 %), including bleeding/transfusion, renal, septic, deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, pulmonary, cardiac and neurologic, occurred prior to discharge. Conversely, the relatively minor complications, including wound and urinary tract infections, occurred predominantly post-discharge (70.7 %). The median time to major complications was 3 versus 13 days for minor complications. In multivariable analyses, age [odds ratio (OR) 1.02, p < 0.001], American Society of Anesthesiologists score ≥ 2 (p < 0.01) and PN (p < 0.001) were predictors of pre-discharge complications, while female gender (OR 1.67, p < 0.001), hypertension (OR 1.28, p = 0.007) and diabetes (OR 1.48, p < 0.001) were predictors of post-discharge complications. Creatinine ≥ 1.2 mg/dl and hematocrit < 30 increased (p < 0.01), whereas a minimally invasive approach decreased the odds (p < 0.05) for both pre-/post-discharge complications. For a given complication, time-to-complication did not affect the odds for mortality (p = 0.343) or re-intervention (p = 0.872).

CONCLUSIONS: Approximately one in six patients suffers a complication following RN/PN; major complications tend to occur early with the majority occurring pre-discharge. Knowledge regarding the timing and risk factors for complications may facilitate improved patient-physician communication, both at admission and at discharge.

Medical Subject Headings

Aged; Databases, Factual; Female; Humans; Kidney Neoplasms; Length of Stay; Male; Middle Aged; Nephrectomy; Quality Improvement; Retrospective Studies; Risk Factors; Time Factors; Treatment Outcome; United States

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