Length of stay and readmissions in mastectomy patients

Susie X. Sun, Anna N. Leung, Peter W. Dillon, Christopher S. Hollenbeak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Interest is growing in preventing readmissions as payers start to link reimbursement to readmission rates. The purpose of this study was to assess factors that contribute to 30-day readmission rates for women undergoing mastectomy for breast cancer. Data from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council were queried for women undergoing mastectomy for breast cancer during 2011 (n = 2,919). The outcomes measured were length of stay (LOS) and 30-day readmission. Univariate comparisons between characteristics of readmitted (n = 172) and nonreadmitted patients were performed using t-tests and chi-square tests. Readmission was modeled using logistic regression; LOS was modeled using linear regression and controlled for potential confounders. In multivariate analyses, patients with peripheral vascular disease were more likely to be readmitted (OR 4.36, p = 0.002). Increased LOS was also associated with increased odds of readmission (OR 1.26, p = <0.0001). Since LOS was an important predictor of readmission we also estimated determinants of LOS using linear regression. The occurrence of reconstructive surgery (p = <0.0001) and renal disease (p < 0.0001) were highly predictive of longer LOS. This study showed peripheral vascular disease and longer lengths of stay were associated with higher odds of readmission in women undergoing mastectomy. Clinicians should be cognizant that optimizing a patient's vascular status before mastectomy may lead to lower rates of readmission. Additional research is needed to determine whether the relationship between readmissions and length of hospital stay is a causative versus associative phenomenon since LOS is a modifiable factor that may lead to lower readmissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-532
Number of pages7
JournalBreast Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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