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Patient-Initiated Telephone Calls in the Postoperative Period After Female Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery

Ramaseshan, Aparna S. MD*; LaSala, Christine MD*; O’Sullivan, David M. PhD; Steinberg, Adam C. DO*

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: September 21, 2018 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000636
Original Article: PDF Only

Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate reasons and factors associated with patient calls in the postoperative period after female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.

Methods A retrospective review using electronic medical records was performed on consecutive patients who underwent surgery within our academic female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery practice during a 6-month period. Calls after postoperative discharge until first scheduled postoperative visit were included. Reasons and number of calls were tabulated. Clinical and surgical factors were extracted. Continuous data were evaluated with a Student t test or analysis of variance; categorical data were evaluated with a χ2 test. P < 0.05 was considered significant.

Results During the designated period, 302 patients underwent surgery, and 173 (57.3%) patients made 345 calls (mean ± SD, 2.0 ± 1.5 calls). Reasons were categorized under 6 distinct domains: bowel, pain, activity, medication regimen, urinary, and bleeding. The most frequent concern within each domain was constipation (11.6%), abdominal pain (6.4%), physical activity (8.7%), pain regimen (14.5%), urinary catheter related (13.3%), and vaginal bleeding (12.1%), respectively. A greater number of phone calls were recorded among patients discharged home with catheters (P = 0.015), and patients who underwent posterior colporrhaphy (P = 0.005) and retropubic urethropexy (P = 0.014). Patients discharged with home nursing (11, 6.4%) demonstrated a significantly higher number of phone calls (3.8 ± 2.5, P < 0.001). Evaluations were required for 37% of callers. Twelve patients were seen in the emergency department, of whom 3 (1.7%) were readmitted to the hospital.

Conclusions Postoperative patient-initiated telephone calls after pelvic reconstructive surgery are common. Bowel-, urinary-, and medication-based phone calls account for the highest frequency and volume.

From the *Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Hartford Hospital;

Department of Research Administration, Hartford Healthcare, Hartford, CT.

Correspondence: Aparna S. Ramaseshan, MD, Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Hartford Hospital, 85 Seymour Street, Suite 525, Hartford, CT 06106. E-mail:

The authors have declared they have no conflict of interest.

Presented as oral poster at Society of Gynecologic Surgeons 44th Annual Meeting. Orlando, FL. March 14, 2018.

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