Background Paracolostomy hernia repair (PHR) can be a challenging procedure associated with significant morbidity and high recurrence rates. We sought to analyze the complication rate and 30-day mortality among patients undergoing PHR. Study Design This is a retrospective analysis of patients with PHR, based on Current Procedural Terminology code 44346, using the NSQIP database from 2005 to 2008. Univariate analysis of 30-day outcomes after both emergent and nonemergent PHR in patients greater than or less than 70 years old was completed. Results There were 519 patients who underwent PHR (mean age, 63.9 years old, female, 55.9%). Emergency PHR, performed in 59 patients (11.4%), was associated with increased rates of organ space surgical site infection (SSI) (8.5% vs 0.9%, p = 0.0014), pneumonia (18.6% vs 2.6%, p ≤ 0.0001), septic shock (13.6% vs 2.6%, p = 0.0007), total morbidity (50.8% vs 2.6%, p ≤ 0.0001), and death (10.2% vs 0.9%; p = 0.0002). In patients older than 70 years, emergent PHR amplified these differences: organ space SSI (13.8% vs 1.2%, p = 0.0054); pneumonia (27.6% vs 3.7%; p = 0.0002), septic shock (17.2% vs 4.3%; p = 0.02), and mortality (20.7% vs 1.9%; p = 0.0005). Conclusions This study revealed that most PHRs are performed electively. Although elective repair remains a relatively safe procedure, even in the elderly, emergency PHR is associated with increased morbidity, especially pulmonary and septic complications, and higher mortality. These results are amplified among patients older than 70 years undergoing emergent repair. These findings suggest that greater consideration should be given to elective repair of paracolostomy hernias in the elderly because emergency repair is associated with considerable risk and worse outcomes.
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