January 9, 2024

Phone-based follow-up safe, effective for general surgery patients

Editor's Note

Postoperative telehealth for general surgery patients is both safe and effective, according to a study published on December 22 in The American Journal of Surgery.

The study consisted of a retrospective review of 1,075 veterans undergoing qualifying procedures at a medical center from June 2019 to September 2021. After excluding those who did not undergo follow-up or those with disqualifying conditions, such as concomitant procedures or malignancy, the study found that telehealth follow-up resulted in a lower rate of complications compared to in-person followup. There were no significant differences in ED visits, 30-day readmission, postoperative procedures or missed adverse events.

These results indicate that telehealth follow-up—an increasingly popular option in the wake of the pandemic—is both safe and viable after low-risk general surgery procedures, researchers conclude.  


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