(HealthDay News) — For patients undergoing head and neck surgery, 30-day unplanned readmission rates are low, but costly, according to a review published online March 9 in Head & Neck.

Peter T. Dziegielewski, MD, from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review involving 607 patients undergoing 660 head and neck operations. The authors sought to determine the rate, predictors of, and costs of 30-day unplanned readmissions. Risk factors for 30-day unplanned readmissions were identified in logistic regression analyses.

The researchers found that 7.3% of cases had 30-day unplanned readmission. Coronary artery disease (odds ratio [OR], 2.8), chronic renal failure (OR, 3.56), not attending preoperative clinic (OR, 2.74), length of stay greater than five days (OR, 3.19), and presence of a gastrostomy tube (OR, 2.75) were identified as significant independent risk factors for readmissions. The total cost of 30-day unplanned readmissions was $1.68 million.

“Thirty-day unplanned readmissions in head and neck surgery patients can be low, but costly,” the authors write. “Identifying patients at risk for 30-day unplanned readmissions will help develop preventative strategies.”

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