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Bile Duct Injury During Cholecystectomy And Survival In Medicare Beneficiaries.

David R. Flum, Allen Cheadle, C M Prela, E. Patchen Dellinger, Leighton Chan
Published 2003 · Medicine
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CONTEXT Common bile duct (CBD) injury during cholecystectomy is a significant source of patient morbidity, but its impact on survival is unclear. OBJECTIVE To demonstrate the relation between CBD injury and survival and to identify the factors associated with improved survival among Medicare beneficiaries. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS Retrospective study using Medicare National Claims History Part B data (January 1, 1992, through December 31, 1999) linked to death records and to the American Medical Association's (AMA's) Physician Masterfile. Records with a procedure code for cholecystectomy were reviewed and those with an additional procedure code for repair of the CBD within 365 days were defined as having a CBD injury. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE Survival after cholecystectomy, controlling for patient (sex, age, comorbidity index, disease severity) and surgeon (procedure year, case order, surgeon specialty) characteristics. RESULTS Of the 1 570 361 patients identified as having had a cholecystectomy (62.9% women), 7911 patients (0.5%) had CBD injuries. The entire population had a mean (SD) age of 71.4 (10.2) years. Thirty-three percent of all patients died within the 9.2-year follow-up period (median survival, 5.6 years; interquartile range, 3.2-7.4 years), with 55.2% of patients without and 19.5% with a CBD injury remained alive. The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for death during the follow-up period was significantly higher (2.79; 95% confidence interval [CI]; 2.71-2.88) for patients with a CBD injury than those without CBD injury. The hazard significantly increased with advancing age and comorbidities and decreased with the experience of the repairing surgeon. The adjusted hazard of death during the follow-up period was 11% greater (HR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.02-1.20) if the repairing surgeon was the same as the injuring surgeon. CONCLUSIONS The association between CBD injury during cholecystectomy and survival among Medicare beneficiaries is stronger than suggested by previous reports. Referring patients with CBD injuries to surgeons or institutions with greater experience in CBD repair may represent a system-level opportunity to improve outcome.
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