Surgical Outcomes in Patients With Preoperative Anemia Undergoing Colectomy for Colon Cancer

Maya El Ghouayel, Mohammad Hamidi, Christopher Mazis, Zaid Imam, Mutaz Abbad, Adam Boutall, Marlon Guerrero, Valentine Nfonsam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Preoperative anemia is relatively common in colon cancer patients; however, its impact on short-term surgical outcomes is not well established. The aim of our study was to evaluate short-term surgical outcomes in colon cancer patients with preoperative anemia undergoing colectomy. Methods: We performed a 4-year analysis of the ACS-NSQIP and included all adult patients who underwent colectomy for colon cancer. Patients were stratified into two groups based on preoperative anemia (Preop Anemia, No Preop Anemia). Our outcome measures were 30-day complications, 30-day unplanned readmissions, and 30-day mortality. Results: A total of 35,243 colon cancer patients who underwent colectomy were included in the analysis, of whom 50.4% had preoperative anemia. The mean age was 65 ± 13 years and the mean hemoglobin level was 12 ± 2 g/dL. Patients in the anemia group were more likely to be African American, have higher ASA class ≥3, and were more likely to receive at least 1 unit of packed red blood cells preoperatively (7.1% versus 0.3%, P < 0.01). Patients in the anemia group had higher rates of 30-day complications (34.5% versus 16.6%, P < 0.01), 30-day readmission related to the principal procedure (11.7% versus 8.7%, P < 0.01), and 30-day mortality (3.1% versus 1%, P < 0.01). On regression analysis, preoperative anemia was independently associated with higher odds of 30-day complications (P < 0.01), but not 30-day readmission, or 30-day mortality (P = 0.464 and P = 0.362 respectively). Conclusions: Preoperative anemia appears to be associated with postoperative complications. Preoperatively optimizing hemoglobin levels may lead to improved outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-225
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Colon cancer
  • Complications
  • Preoperative anemia
  • Surgical outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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