The inpatient burden of abdominal and gynecological adhesiolysis in the US
Background - Adhesions are fibrous bands of scar tissue, often a result of surgery, that form between internal organs and tissues, joining them together abnormally. Postoperative adhesions frequently occur following abdominal surgery, and are associated with a large economic burden. This study examines the inpatient burden of adhesiolysis in the United States (i.e., number and rate of events, cost, length of stay [LOS]).
Methods - Hospital discharge data for patients with primary and secondary adhesiolysis were analyzed using the 2005 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project's Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Procedures were aggregated by body system.
Results - We identified 351,777 adhesiolysis-related hospitalizations: 23.2% for primary and 76.8% for secondary adhesiolysis. The average LOS was 7.8 days for primary adhesiolysis. We found that 967,332 days of care were attributed to adhesiolysis-related procedures, with inpatient expenditures totaling $2.3 billion ($1.4 billion for primary adhesiolysis; $926 million for secondary adhesiolysis). Hospitalizations for adhesiolysis increased steadily by age and were higher for women. Of secondary adhesiolysis procedures, 46.3% involved the female reproductive tract, resulting in 57,005 additional days of care and $220 million in attributable costs.
Conclusions - Adhesiolysis remain an important surgical problem in the United States. Hospitalization for this condition leads to high direct surgical costs, which should be of interest to providers and payers.