Among 124 patients who underwent an elective surgical procedure for Crohn's disease during 1 year at our institution, 16 (13%) had postoperative complications, including one death. The risk of developing postoperative complications was inversely related to the concentrations of serum albumin and total iron-binding capacity. The complication rate was 29% among patients with low (less than 3.1 g/dl) serum albumin levels but only 6% among patients with normal albumin levels. Patients were also more likely to experience postoperative complications if they had previously undergone an operation for Crohn's disease, received sulfasalazine, or required an ileostomy. No correlations were noted between postoperative complications and preoperative weight loss or preponderance of Crohn's disease of the colon. The median duration of postoperative hospitalization was 24.5 days for the 16 patients with complications in comparison with only 10 days for patients without complications.
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