These 7 surgical procedures account for most complications, deaths and costs

Just seven procedures account for roughly 80 percent of all admissions, deaths, complications and costs attributable to emergency general surgery across the nation, according to a study published in JAMA Surgery.

EGS involves the surgical care for the most acutely ill, highest risk and highest cost general surgery patients.

For the study, researchers identified 421,476 operative EGS patients, which were weighted to represent 2.1 million over the four year study period. The analysis displayed an overall mortality rate of 1.2 percent and a complication rate of 15 percent. The average cost per admission was $13,241. Researchers then ranked the procedures for overall contribution to EGS mortality and morbidity. Seven procedures accounted for 80 percent of surgeries, 80 percent of patient fatalities, 79 percent of complications and 80 percent of national inpatient costs.

The seven procedures are:
• Partial colectomy
• Small-bowel resection
• Cholecystectomy
• Operative management of peptic ulcer disease
• Removal of peritoneal adhesions
• Appendectomy
• Laparotomy

The authors conclude, "National quality benchmarks and cost reduction efforts should focus on these common, complicated and costly EGS procedures."

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