Preoperative frailty predicts postoperative complications and mortality in urology patients

Sudhir Isharwal, Jason M. Johanning, Jennifer G. Dwyer, Kendra K. Schimid, Chad A. LaGrange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Purpose: Our objective was to determine the impact of preoperative frailty, as measured by validated Risk Analysis Index (RAI), on the occurrence of postoperative complications after urologic surgeries in a national database comprised of diverse practice groups and cases. Study design: The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database was queried from 2005 to 2011 for a list of abdominal, vaginal, transurethral and scrotal urological surgeries using Current Procedural Terminology codes. The study population was subdivided into two groups based on the nature of procedures performed: complex procedures (inpatient) and simple procedures (outpatient). Risk Analysis Index score was calculated using preoperative NSQIP variables to determine preoperative frailty. Major postoperative morbidities (pulmonary, cardiovascular, renal and infectious), mortality, return to operating room, discharge destination and readmission to the hospital were examined. Results: The study identified 42,715 patients who underwent urological procedures, 25,693 complex and 17,022 simple procedures. Mean RAI score (range) was 7.75 (0–53). The majority of patients scored low on the RAI (90.57 % with RAI < 10). As the RAI score increased, there was a significant increase in postoperative complication and mortality rate (both p < 0.0001). Similarly, the rate of return to operating room and hospital readmission rate increased as RAI increased (both p < 0.0001). Additionally, rate of discharge to home decreased. Interestingly, mortality rate in patients with high RAI did not differ comparing simple to complex procedures (p = 0.90), whereas complications were significantly greater in the complex operation (p = 0.01). Conclusions: Increase in frailty, as measured by RAI score, is associated with increased postoperative complications and mortality. RAI may allow for rapid identification and counseling of patients who are at high risk of adverse perioperative outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Journal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Complications
  • Frailty
  • Mortality
  • Risk Analysis Index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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