Urgent Inpatient Colectomy Carries a Higher Morbidity and Mortality than Elective Surgery

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Journal of Surgical Research


Background: Emergency colorectal surgery confers a higher risk of adverse outcomes compared to elective surgery. Few studies have examined the outcomes after urgent colectomies, typically defined as those performed at the index admission, but not performed at admission in an emergency fashion. The aim of this study is to evaluate the risk of adverse outcomes following urgent inpatient colorectal surgery. Materials and Methods: All adult patients undergoing colectomy between 2013 and 2017 in the ACS NSQIP were included in the analysis. Patients were grouped into Elective, Urgent and Emergency groups. The Urgent group was further stratified by time from admission to surgery. Baseline characteristics and 30 day outcomes were compared between the Elective, Urgent and Emergency groups using univariable and multivariable analyses. Results: 104,486 patients underwent elective colorectal resection. 23,179 underwent urgent while 22,241 had emergency resections. Patients undergoing urgent colectomy presented with increased comorbidities, and experienced higher mortality (2.5-4.1%, AOR 2.3 (1.9 – 2.8)) compared to elective surgery (0.4%). Urgent colectomy was an independent risk factor for the majority of short term complications documented in NSQIP. Moreover, patients undergoing urgent colectomy more than a week following admission had an increased risk of bleeding, deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, urinary tract infection, and prolonged hospitalization. Conclusion: Urgent colectomies are associated with a greater risk of adverse outcomes compared to elective surgery. Urgent status is an independent risk factor for post operative mortality and morbidity. Further characterization of this patient population and their specific challenges may help ameliorate these adverse events.

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