Objective To compare outcomes and costs of elective surgery for diverticular disease (DD) with those of other diseases commonly requiring colectomy.
Design Multivariable analyses using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample to compare outcomes across primary diagnosis while adjusting for age, sex, race, year of admission, and comorbid disease.
Setting A sample of US hospital admissions from 2003-2009.
Patients All adult patients (≥18 years) undergoing elective resection of the descending colon or subtotal colectomy who had a primary diagnosis of DD, colon cancer (CC), or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Main Outcome Measures In-hospital mortality, postoperative complications, ostomy placement, length of stay, and hospital charges.
Results Of the 74 879 patients, 50.52% had DD, 43.48% had CC, and 6.00% had IBD. After adjusting for other variables, patients with DD were significantly more likely than patients with CC to experience in-hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.37-2.63; P < .001), develop a postoperative infection (1.67; 1.48-1.89; P < .001), and have an ostomy placed (1.87; 1.65-2.11; P < .001). The adjusted total hospital charges for patients with DD were $6678.78 higher (95% CI, $5722.12-$7635.43; P < .001) and length of stay was 1 day longer (95% CI, 0.86-1.14; P < .001) compared with patients with CC. Patients with IBD had the highest in-hospital mortality, highest rates of complications and ostomy placement, longest length of stay, and highest hospital charges.
Conclusions Despite undergoing the same procedure, patients with DD have significantly worse and more costly outcomes after elective colectomy compared with patients with CC but better than patients with IBD. These relatively poor outcomes should be recognized when considering routine elective colectomy after successful nonoperative management of acute diverticulitis.