Recovery Tracker May Reduce Readmissions After Gynecologic Cancer Debulking

Patients who use a recovery tracker tool appear to experience lower hospital readmission rates following gynecologic cancer debulking surgery compared with those who did not.

At The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) 2023 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer, Jacqueline Feinberg, MD, spoke with CancerNetwork® about findings from a retrospective review assessing the effectiveness of a recovery tracker in detecting complications and reducing unplanned hospital visits for patients who underwent debulking surgery for ovarian or endometrial cancer, or uterine sarcoma.

In the review, 8% of patients in the recovery tracker cohort—a digital tool designed to track patient-reported symptoms for the first 10 days at home after discharge—experienced complications higher than grade 2 vs 4% of patients who did not have a tracker (P = .303). Additionally, 3% of those who used the tracker were readmitted compared with 10% of those who did not use the tracker (P = .049).

Feinberg, a gynecologic oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said that the exploratory analysis would need to be confirmed in a randomized, controlled trial.


Once we had the data of patients who used the recovery tracker, what we did was pair that with data of patients who had debulking surgeries over that same period of time—the 1-year period from June 2021 to 2022—with patients who also underwent debulking surgery but chose to not enroll in the recovery tracker. They went through a similar recovery after their surgeries, but were not answering the symptom questions.

The questions we had was, for the patients who ultimately chose to use the recovery tracker, is that associated with fewer visits to the hospital—i.e urgent care visits and lesser need for readmission/readmission rates? And then, [the question of] if there’s any relationship to actually having a severe complication.

Really, this is an exploratory analysis. It’s data that wasn’t meant to be paired for this. It’s going to be hypothesis-generating more than anything else. We did find that there was an association with reduced readmission rates and patients who used the recovery tracker compared with those who didn’t. [There was] also a trend towards fewer complications in those patients, although, it wasn’t statistically significant.

This is, like I said, hypothesis-generating. If we were to do a randomized controlled trial in the future where some patients use the recovery tracker vs those who don’t, we would certainly want to define these outcomes from the get-go. But the theory behind why this may have an impact is that we’re catching things earlier. That means we can deal with things with patients at home; we can give them the medications they need at home without them having to come back into the hospital, go away from their families, and [deal with] everything that entails.


Feinberg J, Zivanovic O, Kim SH, et al. Patient-reported symptoms after debulking surgery and associations with urgent care visits, readmissions, and complications. Presented at: 2023 SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer; March 25-28, 2023; Tampa, Florida.

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