International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 33, Issue 11, pp 1617–1625 | Cite as

Comparisons of the surgical outcomes and medical costs between transferred and directly admitted patients diagnosed with intestinal obstruction in an American tertiary referral center

  • Xian Hua Gao
  • Hanumant Chouhan
  • Emre Gorgun
  • Luca Stocchi
  • Gokhan OzunerEmail author
Original Article



Intestinal obstruction is a leading cause of patient mortality and the most common reason for emergent operation in colorectal surgery. The influence of inter-hospital transfer on patients’ outcomes varies greatly in different diseases. We aimed to compare the surgical outcomes and medical costs between transferred and directly admitted patients diagnosed with intestinal obstruction in an American tertiary referral center.


All intestinal obstruction patients operated in Cleveland Clinic from Jan 2012 to Dec 2016 were collected from a prospectively maintained database. Preoperative characteristics; surgical outcomes, including intraoperative complication, postoperative complication, readmission, reoperation, and postoperative 30-day mortality; and medical cost were collected. All parameters were compared between two groups before and after propensity score match. Multivariate logistic analysis was used to explore risk factors of surgical outcomes.


A total of 576 patients were included, with 75 in the transferred group and 501 in the directly admitted group. Before match, the transferred patients had longer waiting interval from admission to surgery (p < 0.001), more contaminated or infected wounds (p = 0.02), different surgical procedures (p = 0.02), and similar surgical outcomes and total medical cost (all p > 0.05), compared with the directly admitted group. Multivariate analysis showed that inter-hospital transfer was not an independent predictor of any surgical outcome. After matching to balance the preoperative characteristics between two groups, no significant differences were identified in all surgical outcomes and total medical cost between two groups (all p > 0.05).


Compared with directly admitted patients, transferred intestinal obstruction patients are associated with similar surgical outcomes and similar medical costs.


Intestinal obstruction Inter-hospital transfer Surgical outcomes Complication Medical cost 


Author contribution

Xian Hua Gao: data gathering and entry, statistical analysis, and manuscript preparation; Hanumant Chouhan: data gathering and manuscript preparation; Emre Gorgun and Luca Stocchi: critical review of manuscript; Gokhan Ozuner: concept, general supervision, and manuscript revisions.

Funding information

This study is funded in part by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (#81572332).

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Cleveland Clinic.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Colorectal Surgery, Changhai HospitalNavy Military Medical UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Colorectal Surgery, Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute-A3The Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA

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