Timing of and Reasons for Unplanned 30-Day Readmission After Hysterectomy for Benign Disease

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To characterize timing and reasons associated with unplanned 30-day readmissions after hysterectomy for benign indications.


We performed a retrospective analysis of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Project database files from 2012 to 2013. We identified patterns of 30-day readmission after benign hysterectomy for all surgical approaches (abdominal, laparoscopic, vaginal). Readmission timing was determined from discharge date and readmission diagnoses were tabulated. Statistical analyses included χ2 tests and multivariable logistic regression.


The 30-day readmission rate was 2.8% (1,118/40,580 hysterectomies). Readmissions complicated 3.7% (361/9,869) of abdominal, 2.6% (576/22,266) of laparoscopic, and 2.1% (181/8,445) of vaginal hysterectomies. Readmissions were more likely when hysterectomy was performed abdominally (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2–1.76) but not laparoscopically (adjusted OR 1.1, 95% CI 0.9–1.4) compared with a vaginal approach. Eighty-two percent of readmissions occurred within 15 days of discharge. The shortest median time to readmission was associated with pain (3 days), and the longest was associated with noninfectious wound complications (10 days). Surgical site infection was the most common diagnosis (abdominal 36.6%, laparoscopic 28.3%, vaginal 32.6%). Surgical site infections, surgical injuries, and wound complications combined accounted for 51.5% of abdominal, 51.9% of laparoscopic, and 50.8% of vaginal hysterectomy readmissions. Medical complications such as cardiovascular events and venous thromboembolism were responsible for 5.8% of abdominal, 6.9% of laparoscopic, and 8.8% of vaginal hysterectomy readmissions. Surgical injuries were responsible for more readmissions after laparoscopic (unadjusted OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.48–3.65) and vaginal hysterectomies (unadjusted OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.29–3.97) than abdominal cases.


Readmissions after hysterectomy tend to occur shortly after discharge. Most readmissions are related to surgical issues, most commonly surgical site infection. Medical complications, including venous thromboembolism, account for less than 10% of readmissions. Readmission reduction efforts should focus on early postdischarge follow-up, preventing infectious complications, and determining preventability of surgical-related reasons for readmission.

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