Off-campus Pacific University users: To download campus access theses and dissertations, please log into our proxy server with your PUNet ID and password.

Non-Pacific University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis or dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Theses or dissertations that have a specific embargo period indicated below will not be available to anyone until the date indicated.

Date of Graduation


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Rob Rosenow, PharmD

Second Advisor

John R. Randy Jr, MD


Objectives: Define the prevalence and patterns of hospital readmissions following pulmonary resection.

Methods: Pulmonary resections (pneumonectomy, lobectomy, segementectomy, wedge resection) from a prospectively maintained computerized thoracic surgery database were analyzed over a 5 year period (1/1995-12/1999). Lung biopsies were excluded. Readmissions were defined as In-patient stays or emergency department evaluations within 90 days of surgery. Readmission analysis excluded operative deaths.

Results: 374 patients underwent pulmonary resections. Mean age: 60.1 (range: 14-88). 6 patients died (1.6%). Mean lengths of stay (LOS): 6.5 +/- 4.5 days.

Of 368 patients discharged, 60 patients (18.8%) were readmitted: 69-one time, 27-two times, 11 three-times, 4-four times, and 2-five times, for a total of 113 readmissions. 41 patients (59%) were readmitted as in-patients. Readmission causes: pulmonary (27.4%), surgical sound infection (14.2%), other (15.9%), cardiac (7.1%), gastrointestinal (5.3%), deep venous thrombosis (2.7%), neurologic, psychiatric, urinary (each 0.9%). Mean time to readmission: 32.5 +/- 24.6 days. Readmission mean LOS: 2.9 +/- 3.5 days. Readmissions to hospitals other than where the surgery was performed: 1st - 15.9%, 2nd - 14.8%, 3rd - 36.6%, 4th - 25%, 5th - 0%.

4% (12/299) of patients discharged after pulmonary resection and not requiring readmission died over the 5 years, while 11.6% (8/69) of those requiring readmission died.

Conclusions: Readmission after pulmonary resection is the most frequent postoperative complication. Pulmonary diagnoses and infection due to the thoracic surgery predominate as causes of readmission. Readmissions are frequently multiple. An important portion of readmissions occurs outside the institution performing the surgery. The population requiring readmission after undergoing pulmonary resection is at increased risk of subsequent mortality.


The digital version of this project is currently unavailable to off-campus users; however, it may be requested via interlibrary loan by eligible borrowers from Pacific University Library. Pacific University Library is a free lender. (Library Use: NL)