FRIDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Postoperative complications significantly predict readmission following plastic surgery, according to a study published in the September issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
John P. Fischer, M.D., from University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues used data from the 2011 American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program databases to identify 10,669 patients who underwent primary plastic surgery procedures. Comorbidities, laboratory values, and intraoperative details were assessed.
The researchers observed a 4.5 percent readmission rate. The average age of patients was 49.5 years, 32.2 percent were obese, 15.2 percent were smokers, and 81.7 percent were women. Elective/cosmetic breast (23.4 percent), implant breast reconstruction (16.5 percent), revision breast procedures (14.9 percent), hand operations (9.7 percent), and body contouring (5.9 percent) were the most commonly performed procedures. The wound complication rate and the medical complication rate were 4.6 and 4.9 percent, respectively. Any postoperative complication occurred in 10.9 percent of patients, with 4.8 percent of these defined as major surgical complications. Readmission was significantly independently associated with risk factors that included procedure type; obesity; anemia; and medical, major surgical, and wound complications.
"Patients experiencing postoperative surgical complications were six times more likely to be readmitted," the authors write.