Preoperative anemia is a well-established risk factor for adverse perioperative outcomes in major surgery, but studies exploring complications after pelvic reconstructive surgery are limited. The objective of this study is to examine the impact of preoperative anemia on 30-day adverse outcomes in patients undergoing pelvic organ prolapse surgery.
A retrospective cohort of women undergoing pelvic organ prolapse surgery was captured from the National Surgery Quality Improvement Program database (2014-2019). The primary outcome was a composite of postoperative medical complications such as pulmonary embolism, acute renal failure, stroke, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest, deep vein thrombosis, and sepsis. Secondary outcomes included surgical site infection, bleeding requiring blood transfusion, readmission within 7 days of surgery, and return to the operating room within 30 days. Multivariate logistic regression was used to adjust for important pre-specified potential confounders.
A total of 50,848 women were included in the analysis and 9.9% (4,579) met the criteria for anemia (hematocrit <36%). Potentially serious medical complications were rare, occurring in only 348 women (0.7%), and were more common among anemic patients (1.1% vs 0.6%, p < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, preoperative anemia was associated with higher odds of both potentially serious medical complications (OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.01-1.88) and returning to the operating room (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.23-1.94). Anemic patients had a four-fold increase in the odds of requiring a blood transfusion (OR 4.47, 95% CI 3.60-5.56).
Preoperative anemia is associated with an increased risk of adverse postoperative outcomes in women having surgery for pelvic organ prolapse.