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Early Discharge After Lobectomy for Lung Cancer Does Not Equate to Early Readmission.

Patel DC, Leipzig M, Jeffrey Yang CF, Wang Y, Shrager JB, Backhus LM, Lui NS, Liou DZ, Berry MF. Early Discharge After Lobectomy for Lung Cancer Does Not Equate to Early Readmission. The Annals of thoracic surgery. 2022 May 1; 113(5):1634-1640.

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BACKGROUND: Enhanced recovery after surgery pathways in several specialties reduce length of stay, but accelerated discharge after thoracic surgery is not well characterized. This study tested the hypothesis that patients discharged on postoperative day 1 (POD1) after lobectomy for lung cancer have an increased risk of readmission. METHODS: Patients who underwent a lobectomy for lung cancer between 2011 and 2019 in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database were identified. Readmission rates were compared between patients discharged on postoperative day 1 (POD 1) and patients discharged on POD 2 to 6. Early discharge and readmission predictors were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: Only 854 (3.8%) of 22,585 patients who met inclusion criteria were discharged on POD 1, although POD 1 discharge rates increased from 2.3% to 8.1% (P < .001) from 2011 to 2019, respectively. Median hospitalization for patients discharged on POD 2 to 6 was 4 days (interquartile range, 3 to 5 days). Patients'' characteristics associated with a lower likelihood of POD 1 discharge were increasing age, smoking, or a history of dyspnea, whereas a minimally invasive approach was the strongest predictor of early discharge (adjusted odds ratio, 5.42; P < .001). Readmission rates were not significantly different for the POD 1 and POD 2 to 6 groups in univariate analysis (6.0% vs 7.0%; P  = .269). Further, POD 1 discharge was not a risk factor for readmission in multivariable analysis (adjusted odds ratio, 1.10; P  = .537). CONCLUSIONS: Select patients can be discharged on POD 1 after lobectomy for lung cancer without an increased readmission risk, a finding supporting this accelerated discharge target inclusion in lobectomy enhanced recovery after surgery protocols.

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