Background: Preoperative steroid use has been associated with worse surgical outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine whether laparoscopic surgery reduces the risk of septic shock/sepsis among ulcerative colitis patients with preoperative chronic steroid use.
Methods: Patients with ulcerative colitis undergoing a total abdominal colectomy were identified from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database (2005-2019). Patients were stratified based on preoperative chronic steroid use and operative approach (open versus laparoscopic). The primary outcome was septic shock/sepsis. Multivariable regression models were used to assess the association between laparoscopic surgery and rates of septic shock/sepsis among steroid users and non-steroid users in both the elective and emergent settings.
Results: Among 8,644 patients undergoing a total abdominal colectomy, 67.1% were steroid users and 32.9% were non-steroid users. Compared with an open approach, elective laparoscopic surgery was associated with lower rates of septic shock/sepsis, albeit with higher readmission rates for both steroid users (15.1% [laparoscopic] vs 12.0% [open], P = .005) and non-steroid users (12.6% [laparoscopic] vs 9.4% [open], P = .019). On adjusted analysis, ulcerative colitis patients with chronic steroid use undergoing an elective laparoscopic total abdominal colectomy demonstrated a reduced risk of septic shock/sepsis compared to open surgery (odds ratio 0.61, 95% confidence interval 0.49-0.76, P < .001). Similar findings were seen among chronic steroid users undergoing emergent laparoscopic procedures (odds ratio 0.54, 95% confidence interval 0.31-0.95, P = .031).
Conclusion: Laparoscopic surgery was associated with a reduced risk of septic shock/sepsis among ulcerative colitis patients with preoperative chronic steroid use, suggesting that minimally invasive surgery may be a promising option among this unique patient population.
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