Predictors of wound complications after laryngectomy: A study of over 2000 patients

Seth R. Schwartz, Bevan Yueh, Charles Maynard, Jennifer Daley, William Henderson, Shukri F. Khuri

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134 Scopus citations


Objectives To identify risk factors for and the rate of wound complications after laryngectomy in a large, prospectively collected national dataset, and to generate a predictive model. Study design We used the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) registry created by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to identify patients undergoing total laryngectomy from 1989 to 1999 (n = 2063). We linked these data to inpatient and outpatient VA administrative records to capture data for prior radiation. Over 20 preoperative and intraoperative risk factors were analyzed using bivariate techniques. Those significant at the P < 0.01 level were analyzed with logistic regression and conjunctive consolidation to identify independent predictors of wound complications. Results The overall wound complication rate was 10.0%. In adjusted analyses, prolonged operative time (>10 hours, odds ratio = 2.10, 95% confidence interval: 1.32-3.36), exposure to prior radiation therapy (OR =1.63, 1.07-2.46), presence of diabetes (OR =1.78, 1.04-3.04), preoperative hypoalbuminemia (OR =1.90, 1.32-2.74), anemia (OR =1.59, 1.07-2.36), and thrombocytosis (OR =1.48, 1.04-2.10) were independently associated with postoperative wound complications. A prognostic model using three variables - prior radiation therapy, diabetes, and hypoalbuminemia - provided excellent risk stratification into three tiers (6.3%, 13.7%, 21.7%). Conclusions Preoperative radiation, prolonged operative time, low albumin, and diabetes were independently associated with postoperative wound infections. These results will help to identify patients at risk for wound complications, thus allowing for heightened surveillance and preventive measures where possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr Schwartz is supported by an NIH Basic Sciences Training in Otolaryngology grant (#DC00018). Dr. Yueh is supported by a career development award from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Health Services Research & Development Service (#CD-98318).


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