• Return;
  • operating room;
  • surgery;
  • colorectal;
  • complication


Aim  We sought to identify the rate of re-operation after an index colorectal surgical procedure and potential contributing risk factors.

Method  This is a retrospective cohort study from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. We identified all patients who either returned or did not return to the operating room after any colorectal resection from January 2005 to December 2008.

Results  From a total cohort of 635 265 patients included in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program over the 4-year study period, we identified 54 237 patients who underwent colorectal operations. A return to the operating room was coded in 5.4 ± 0.1% of non colorectal resection patients and 7.6 ± 0.2% of colorectal resection patients (< 0.001). The multivariate model identified patients with postoperative diagnostic codes for abdominal cavity hernia or colostomy complication as having the highest odds of return to the operating room within 30 days. Patients returning to the operating room had longer length of stay and higher overall mortality compared with those patients who did not return to the operating room.

Conclusion  Return to the operating room is a relatively common occurrence after colorectal resections, with an associated high rate of mortality. Given the association between return to the operating room and adverse patient outcomes, emphasis should be placed on determining strategies to reduce the need for return to the operating room.