Objective: Investigate the frequency of, and risks for postoperative pulmonary complications after surgery for non-malignant gynecologic disorders.
Method: A retrospective component included medical record data for one year. A prospective component enrolled 300 patients consecutively who were scheduled for gynecologic surgeries.
Result: Postoperative pulmonary complications occurred in 1.22% of 328 open abdominal procedures in the retrospective study, and 2.16% of 232 in the prospective study. Pooling the data yielded a frequency estimate of 1.61%. Mean hospital length of stay (pooled data) increased 1.75 days in those with postoperative pulmonary complications. Smoking was the only significant risk factor (relative risk=3.9 using pooled data).
Conclusion: Postoperative pulmonary complications after surgery for non-malignant gynecologic disorders are infrequent but increase hospital length of stay. Smokers are at increased risk.