Association of Modified Frailty Index score with perioperative risk for patients undergoing total laryngectomy

Brandon Wachal, Matthew Johnson, Alissa Burchell, Harlan Sayles, Katherine Rieke, Robert Lindau, William Lydiatt, Aru Panwar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Importance: Objective preoperative risk assessment tools, such as the Modified Frailty Index (mFI), may inform patient and physician decision making when considering total laryngectomy. Estimation of outcomesmay help to set realistic expectations about recovery and outcomes and facilitate optimal resource management. Objective: To evaluate the association between the mFI score as a measure of frailty and outcomes following total laryngectomy. Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective evaluation using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP), a risk- and case-mix-adjusted national quality assessment program. The ACS NSQIP database identified 595 patients who underwent total laryngectomy between 2006 and 2012. Patients were assessed for demographics and comorbidity and were stratified on the basis of calculated mFI score. Outcomes, including postoperative complications, length of hospitalization, and discharge destination, were evaluated as a function of increasing frailty using multivariable logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards regression models. Main Outcomes and Measures: Risk of postoperative complications, length of hospitalization, and discharge disposition. Results: After exclusion of patients who experienced significant deviation from standard care protocols and those with missing or incomplete data, 343 individuals were included in the analysis. Of these, 278 (81.0%) were men, and the mean age was 63 years (95%CI, 61.9-64.4 years). Increasing frailty resulted in a nonlinear but progressive rise in incidence of postoperative adverse events. Overall, 96 (28.0%) patients experienced a postoperative complication, and patients with an mFI score of 3 or higher were more likely to develop postoperative complications than were patients with an mFI score of 0 (50.0%vs 16.7%; OR, 3.83; 95%CI, 1.72-8.51). Patients in the highest frailty group experienced a longer mean duration of hospitalization (14.2 vs 9.5 days; difference, 4.7; 95%CI, 1.3-8.1 days) and were more likely to require skilled care after discharge (33.3%vs 3.2%; difference, 30.1%; 95%CI, 7.4%-52.9%). Conclusions and Relevance: An mFI score of 3 or higher is associated with increased risk for postoperative complications, longer hospitalization, and need for postdischarge skilled care following total laryngectomy. The mFI provides a personalized risk assessment to better inform patients, physicians, and payers when planning a total laryngectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)818-823
Number of pages6
JournalJAMA Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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