Aim: Hospital readmission is undesirable for patients and care providers as this can affect short-term recovery and carries financial consequences. It is unknown if readmission has long-term implications. We aimed to investigate the impact of 30-day readmission on long-term overall survival (OS) following colorectal cancer resection within enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) care and explore the reasons for and the severity and details of readmission episodes.
Method: A dedicated, prospectively populated database was reviewed. All patients were managed within an established ERAS programme. Five-year OS was calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method. The number, reason for and severity of 30-day readmissions were classified according to the Clavien–Dindo (CD) system, along with total (initial and readmission) length of stay (LoS). Multivariate analysis was used to identify factors predicting readmission.
Results: A total of 1023 consecutive patients underwent colorectal cancer resection between 2002 and 2015. Of these, 166 (16%) were readmitted. Readmission alone did not have a significant impact on 5-year OS (59% vs 70%, P = 0.092), but OS was worse in patients with longer total LoS (20 vs 14 days, P = 0.04). Of the readmissions, 121 (73%) were minor (CD I–II) and 27 (16%) required an intervention of which 16 (10%) were returned to theatre. Gut dysfunction 32 (19%) and wound complications 23 (14%) were the most frequent reasons for readmission. Prolonged initial LoS, rectal cancer and younger age predicted for hospital readmission.
Conclusion: Readmission does not have a significant impact on 5-year OS. A broad range of conditions led to readmission, with the majority representing minor complications.
- colorectal cancer
- enhanced recovery
ASJC Scopus subject areas