Race and postoperative complications following urologic cancer surgery: An ACS-NSQIP analysis

Daniel C. Parker, Elizabeth Handorf, Marc C. Smaldone, Robert G. Uzzo, Henry Pitt, Adam C. Reese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Racial disparities in complication rates have been demonstrated for a variety of surgical procedures. We hypothesized that African American (AA) patients experience higher postoperative complication rates than whites following urologic oncology procedures. Materials and methods: Patients in American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program who underwent radical prostatectomy (RP), radical or partial nephrectomy (RN/PN), and radical cystectomy (RC) between 2005 and 2013 were included. Complications were grouped as minor (Clavien I-II), major (Clavien III-IV), or death (Clavien V). A 30-day complication rates and disparities in preoperative comorbidity burden were compared by race. After adjustment for comorbidity burden, multivariable logistic regression was performed to test the association between race and risk of complication. Results: Of 38,642 patients included in the analysis, 90% were white and 10% were AA. In unadjusted analysis, there were no significant differences in complication rates between AA and white patients for any Clavien grade in the procedures queried (RP: P = 0.07; RN/PN: P = 0.70; RC: P = 0.12). After controlling for a higher comorbidity burden among AA patients, AA race was again not independently associated with 30-day postoperative complications for RP (odds ratio [OR] = 1.08, 95% CI: 0.92-1.29), RN/PN (OR = 0.98, 95% CI: 0.84-1.13), or RC (OR = 1.10, 95% CI: 0.84-1.43). Conclusion: Despite a higher comorbidity burden, AA patients in American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program are not at increased risk of 30-day postoperative complications following major urologic cancer surgery. These findings suggest that comorbidity burden, as opposed to race, is most strongly associated with the risk of postoperative complications. To minimize perioperative risk, clinicians should strive to preoperatively optimize medical comorbidities in all patients undergoing urologic cancer surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
StateAccepted/In press - 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • Complications
  • Disparity
  • Oncology
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology

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