Objective: To identify the variation in estimated blood loss at the time of hysterectomy for benign indications and to analyze how blood loss is associated with measures of resource utilization and complications.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study and analyzed hysterectomy for benign indications at hospitals in the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative between January 1, 2013, and May 30, 2015. A sensitivity analysis was performed to identify how estimated blood loss was associated with measures of utilization (transfusion, readmission, reoperation, and length of stay) and postoperative complications. A hierarchical logistic regression model was used to identify patient level factors independently associated with estimated blood loss greater than 400 mL and to calculate a risk- and reliability-adjusted rate for each hospital.
Results: There were 18,033 hysterectomies for benign indications from 61 hospitals included for analysis. The median estimated blood loss was 100 mL, and the 90th percentile estimated blood loss was 400 mL. A sensitivity analysis demonstrated increased risks of transfusion, readmission, reoperation, length of stay, and major postoperative complications with estimated blood loss greater than 400 mL. The proportion of hysterectomies at hospitals in the collaborative with estimated blood loss greater than 400 mL ranged from 3.5% to 16.9% after risk and reliability adjustments. The risk factors with the highest adjusted odds for estimated blood loss greater than 400 mL included abdominal surgery compared with laparoscopic hysterectomy (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.8, CI 2.3-3.5), surgical time longer than 3 hours (aOR 3.9, CI 3.3-4.5), and specimen weight greater than 250 g compared with less than 100 g (aOR 4.8, CI 3.9-5.8). Adhesive disease, low surgeon volume, being younger than 40 years of age, having a body mass index greater than 35, and the need for a preoperative transfusion were also statistically significantly associated with estimated blood loss greater than 400 mL.
Conclusion: There is fivefold variation in the hospital rate of hysterectomies with an estimated blood loss greater than 400 mL (90th percentile)-a threshold associated with significantly higher rates of health care utilization and complications. Avoidance of abdominal hysterectomy when possible may reduce intraoperative blood loss and associated sequelae.