Outcomes and Postoperative Complications after Hysterectomies Performed for Benign Compared with Malignant Indications

Sumer K. Wallace, Melissa J. Fazzari, Hui Chen, William A. Cliby, Eva Chalas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To compare complications and outcomes after hysterectomy for benign compared with malignant indications in the United States. METHODS: Women who underwent hysterectomy in the United States for either benign or malignant indications from January 2008 to December 2012 were retrospectively identified using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Patients were excluded if the procedure was not performed for primary gynecologic indications. Appropriate procedures were identified using Current Procedural Terminology and International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision codes. Univariate and multivariable models for complication risk were estimated using logistic regression. RESULTS: We identified 59,525 eligible patients, with 49,331 (82.9%) hysterectomies performed for benign and 10,194 (17.1%) for malignant indications. All complications, including wound complications (2.5% benign compared with 5.5% malignant, P<.001), venous thromboembolism (0.33% compared with 1.7%, P<.001), urinary tract infection (2.7% compared with 3.2%, P.009), sepsis (0.53% compared with 1.9%, P<.001), blood transfusion (2.6% compared with 11.5%, P<.001), death (0.02% compared with 0.10%, P<.001), unplanned readmission (1.8% compared with 4.5%, P<.001), and returns to the operating room (0.91% compared with 1.4%, P<.001), were significantly more common for malignant hysterectomies. The overall rate of complications for benign cases was 7.9% compared with a rate of 19.4% for malignant hysterectomy. The median operating time for laparoscopy in benign cases was significantly longer than for open or vaginal hysterectomy procedures (127 minutes compared with 105 or 94 minutes, respectively; P<.001). The median operating time in malignant cases was significantly longer than for benign cases (P<.001). CONCLUSION: Hysterectomies performed for gynecologic malignancies are associated with a more than twofold higher complication rate compared with those performed for benign conditions. Minimally invasive surgery is associated with a decreased complication rate compared with open surgery. These data can be used for patient counseling and surgical planning, determining physician and hospital costs of care, and considered when assigning value-based reimbursement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-475
Number of pages9
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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