Brief Report: Do Patients With Poor Outcomes Regret Having Had Infrainguinal Bypass Surgery?

Margaret L. Schwarze, Maliha A. Sayla, G. Caleb Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Retrospection and hindsight bias may lead patients with bad outcomes to regret the choice of infrainguinal bypass surgery. Objective: To assess patients' retrospective evaluations of surgery stratified by common criteria to judge surgical success. Survey Design: Cross-sectional phone surveys of 33 patients, an average of 162 d following infrainguinal bypass surgery. Results: Of the 33 patients evaluated, 26 (79%) experienced undesirable outcomes, including amputation (4, 12%), prolonged hospitalization (8, 24%), wound infection (8, 24%), readmission to the hospital (12, 36%), additional surgery (11, 33%), and other complications (16, 48%). Of the patients surveyed, nearly all (30, 91%) reported that they would still want to have had the surgery if they had a 5-y 50% mortality, and the same proportion reported they would recommend the surgery to someone else with similar medical problems (30, 91%). Conclusions: If confirmed in larger populations, these findings suggest that when viewed retrospectively, results traditionally considered poor outcomes may not deter many patients' preferences for surgical management of their infrainguinal vascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-9
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • hindsight bias
  • infrainguinal bypass
  • limb salvage
  • surgical ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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