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Are Patients’ and Surgeons’ Priorities Aligned in Colorectal Resection Recovery?

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Patients with colorectal cancer and physicians performing colorectal surgery may value different factors when considering postoperative quality of life, according to a recent study published in Diseases of the Colon and Rectum. Despite that difference, patients who have undergone colorectal surgery report overall satisfaction with their recovery. The study, performed by Sean M. Wrenn, MD, of the University of Vermont, and colleagues, sought to determine patient priorities after colorectal surgical resection.

“Our results demonstrate a discrepancy between quality metrics traditionally considered highly important to surgeons and associated health care providers (ie, incision length, hospital length of stay, and utilization of laparoscopy) and those valued most by patients,” stated Dr. Wrenn and colleagues. “We suggest that such metrics be periodically reevaluated to ensure that they are consistent with what the patient considers to be of quality and value.”

Of the 626 patients contacted, 167 responded to a 36-question survey regarding recovery from the colorectal surgical resection they underwent between 2009 and 2015 at the University of Vermont Medical Center. The most important perioperative and postoperative quality-of-life factors indicated included not having a permanent stoma (78%), being cured of cancer (76%), and having no complications after the procedure (74%). The factors traditionally considered important to surgeons ranked significantly lower with patients, including laparoscopy (14%), length of hospital stay (13%), and the length and appearance of their incision (4%). Overall, 92.2% of survey respondents reported being satisfied with their postoperative recovery.

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