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J Gastrointest Surg. 2016 Jan;20(1):77-84; discussion 84.

After Pancreatectomy, the “90 Days from Surgery” Definition Is Superior to the “30 Days from Discharge” Definition for Capture of Clinically Relevant Readmissions.



Previous studies by different authors have reported their readmission rates after pancreatectomy as either “30 days from discharge” or “90 days from surgery.” The objective of this study was to determine which of these definitions captures the most surgery-related complications.


A prospectively maintained database at a high volume center was queried to identify all individuals who underwent pancreatectomy between 2000 and 2012 for any diagnosis. The data was analyzed at 30 days after discharge and 90 days after operation. The optimal timing for complication reporting was defined as the time point that maximized the capture of surgery-related readmissions and direct major surgical complications while minimizing the capture of disease (cancer)-related readmissions.


There were 1123 patients included during the study time period. The median age was 63 years old, and 55.6% were male. Operations included 833 (74.2%) pancreaticoduodenectomies, 257 (22.9%) distal pancreatectomies, 18 (1.6%) total pancreatectomies, and 15 (1.3%) central pancreatectomies. Surgery-related readmissions occurred in 248 (22%) individuals, while readmission related to malignant disease progression occurred in 25 (2%) individuals. The 30 days from discharge definition captured 184 surgery-related readmissions and 1 disease-related readmission (sensitivity 0.74, specificity 0.96). The 90 days from surgery definition captured 215 surgery-related readmissions and 1 disease-related readmission (sensitivity 0.87, specificity 0.96). Major surgical complication was the only independent factor associated with readmission not captured by the 30 days from discharge definition (p = 0.002, HR 3.94, 95% CI 1.44–12.22).


The 90 days from surgery definition was superior to the 30 days from discharge definition, especially with regards to readmission related to major surgical complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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