BACKGROUND: Discharge on postoperative day 3 after laparoscopic colorectal resections is now common, and same-day discharge has been proposed recently as an option. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the safety of same-day and next-day discharge after laparoscopic colorectal surgery and to delineate which characteristics may make a patient eligible for this pathway. DESIGN: This was a retrospective cohort study. SETTINGS: The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Project Targeted Colectomy Participant User File was used. PATIENTS: Patients underwent elective laparoscopic colorectal resection and were discharged without complications on or before postoperative day 5 (early discharge: postoperative day 0 or 1, intermediate: postoperative day 2, standard: postoperative day 3 to 5). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Early readmission (on or before postoperative day 7), anastomotic leak, ileus, and overall readmission were measured. RESULTS: Of 36,526 patients total, 906 (2.5%) were discharged on postoperative day 0 or 1. Patients discharged on postoperative day 0/1 tended to have shorter-duration operations, a diagnostic indication more commonly of benign neoplasm, and underwent less low pelvic anastomoses. The readmission rate within 7 days was only 2%. Overall rates of anastomotic leak (0.6% early, 1.0% intermediate, 1.2% standard), ileus (1.9% early, 1.5% intermediate, 2.1% standard), and readmission (early 4.8%, intermediate 5.1%, standard 5.8%) were equivalent to decreased in patients discharged early versus those discharged in the intermediate or standard discharge groups. On multivariable analysis, dismissal day remained a noncontributory-to-protective factor against anastomotic leak, ileus, and readmission. LIMITATIONS: Specific follow-up pathways used were unknown, and selection bias exists in deciding what day patients can be discharged. CONCLUSIONS: Discharge on the same day or next day after surgery was not associated with increased risk compared with discharge on postoperative day 3 to 5, and it did not result in a high rate of early readmissions. Increased use of expedited discharge pathways would reduce hospital costs and resource use.
- Enhanced recovery after surgery
- Outpatient surgery
- Same-day discharge
ASJC Scopus subject areas