Characterizing Short-Term Outcomes Following Surgery for Rectal Cancer: the Role of Race and Insurance Status

Sook Y. Chan*, Pasithorn A. Suwanabol, Rachelle N. Damle, Jennifer S. Davids, Paul R. Sturrock, W. Brian Sweeney, Justin A. Maykel, Karim Alavi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: There is a paucity of data demonstrating the effect race and insurance status have on postoperative outcomes for patients with rectal cancer. We evaluated factors impacting short-term outcomes following rectal cancer surgery. Design: Patients who underwent surgery for rectal cancer using the University Health System Consortium database from 2011 to 2012 were studied. Univariate and multivariable analyses were used to identify patient related risk factors for 30-day outcomes after proctectomy: complication rate, 30-day readmission, ICU stay, and length of hospital stay (LOS). Results: A total of 9272 proctectomies were identified in this cohort. After adjustment for potential confounders, black patients were more likely to have 30-day readmissions (OR 1.51, 95 % CI 1.26–1.81), ICU stays (OR 1.25, 95 % CI 1.03–1.51), and longer LOS (+1.67 days, 95 % CI 1.21–2.13) when compared to whites. Compared to those with private insurance, patients with public or military insurance or who were self-pay had a higher likelihood of having postoperative complications. Conclusions: In patients who undergo elective proctectomy for rectal cancer, non-white and non-privately insured status are associated with significantly worse short-term outcomes. Further studies are needed to determine the implications with respect to receipt of adjuvant therapy and survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1891-1898
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Anal neoplasia
  • Colorectal


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