Background: Comparative evaluation of surgical quality among hospitals must improve outcome and efficiency, and reduce medical costs. Reoperation after colorectal surgery is a consequence of surgical complications and therefore considered a quality-of-care indicator. With respect to the mortality rate, the 1-year mortality may be a more meaningful figure than in-hospital mortality, because it also reflects the impact of surgical complications beyond discharge.
Objective: The aim of our study was to evaluate the 1-year mortality after colorectal surgery and to identify predicting factors.
Design: This study was a retrospective analysis from our colorectal surgery database.
Patients: All patients who underwent elective colorectal surgery from 2005 to 2008 were included.
Main outcome measures: Both univariate and multivariate analysis were performed to identify predicting factors. The following variables were analyzed: age, operative risk according to the ASA class, Charlson-Age Comorbidity Index, indication for and type of resection, primary anastomosis, tumor staging, anastomotic leakage, and reoperation.
Results: For 743 consecutive patients, the 1-year mortality rate was 6.9%. Patients were operated on mainly because of colorectal cancer (n = 537; 72%). The rate of reoperation and in-hospital mortality was 12.8% and 2.4%. Univariate survival analysis demonstrated that ASA class, age, Charlson-Age Comorbidity Index, reoperation, and stage of disease were independent predictors of 1-year mortality. Multivariate analysis showed that ASA class (P = .020; HR 1.69), age (P = .015; HR 2.08) and reoperation (P = .001; HR 2.72) are directly correlated with 1-year mortality.
Limitations: Both patients with benign diseases and colorectal cancer are included. Furthermore, no clear guidelines on whether to perform a reoperation were available.
Conclusion: One-year mortality after colorectal surgery is independently predicted by ASA class, age, and reoperation. Our results underline the value of the 1-year mortality rate and the reoperation rate as parameters for quality assessment in colorectal surgery.