OBJECTIVE AND BACKGROUND - Morbidity, mortality, and length of hospital stay after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) have significantly decreased over recent decades. Despite this progress, early readmission rates after PD have been reported as high as 50%. Few reports have delineated factors associated with readmission after PD.
METHODS - The medical records of 6 high-volume institutions were reviewed for patients who underwent PD between 2005 and 2010. Data collection included patient characteristics, medical comorbidities, and perioperative factors. Analysis included readmissions up to 90 days after PD.
RESULTS - A total of 1302 patients underwent PD across all institutions. The 30-day and 90-day readmission rates were 15% and 19%, respectively. The most common reasons for 30-day readmission included infectious complications (n = 65) and delayed gastric emptying (n = 29). The most common reasons for readmission after 90 days included wound infections and intra-abdominal abscess (n = 75) and failure to thrive (n = 38). On multivariate analysis, factors associated with higher readmission rates included a preoperative diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis, higher transfusion requirements, and postoperative complications including intra-abdominal abscess and pancreatic fistula (all P < 0.02). Factors not associated with higher readmission rates included advanced age, body mass index, cardiovascular/pulmonary comorbidities, diabetes, steroid use, Whipple type (standard vs pylorus preserving PD), preoperative endobiliary stenting, and vascular reconstruction.
CONCLUSIONS - These multi-institutional data represent a large experience of PD without the biases typically of single center studies. Factors related to infection, nutritional status, and delayed gastric emptying were the most common reasons for readmission after PD. Postoperative complications including pancreatic fistula predicted higher rates of readmission.