Incidence and risk factors of readmission after esophagectomy for esophageal cancer

Seong Yong Park, Dae Joon Kim, Go Eun Byun


Background: The Esophageal Complications Consensus Group (ECCG) recommends that readmission to a primary or secondary hospital within 30 days of discharge after esophagectomy is an important quality outcome indicator for esophagectomy. This retrospective study was performed to investigate the incidence and risk factors for readmission after esophagectomy.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 291 patients who received an esophagectomy and mediastinal lymphadenectomy for curative purposes from January 2006 to June 2017.
Results: The mean age was 63.02±8.02 years, and there were 264 (90.7%) male patients. Thirty-nine (13.4%) patients were re-admitted within 30 days after discharge. The mean interval from discharge to the readmission was 13.46±9.36. Common causes of readmission were anastomotic stricture that required ballooning (12, 30.7%), wound problem (7, 17.9%), pneumonia (6, 15.4%), and poor oral intake (4, 10.2%). Other causes of readmission were delayed gastric emptying [3], jejunostomy tube problem [2], ileus [2], pain [1], pneumothorax [1], and pleural effusion [1]. On multivariable analysis, anastomotic leakage (odd ratio =2.884, P=0.026) was significantly related to readmission, whereas age, pathologic stage, vocal cord palsy, and neoadjuvant therapy were not related to readmission.
Conclusions: Readmission within 30 days after esophagectomy was determined to be related to postoperative anastomotic leakage and wound problems whereas the vocal cord palsy was not.