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The purpose of this study was to critically analyze the risk of unplanned readmission following resection of brain metastasis and to identify key risk factors to allow for early intervention strategies in high-risk patients. We analyzed data from the Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD) from 2010–2014, and included patients who underwent craniotomy for brain metastasis, identified using ICD-9-CM diagnosis (198.3) and procedure (01.59) codes. The primary outcome of the study was unplanned 30-day all-cause readmission rate. Secondary outcomes included reasons and costs of readmissions. Hierarchical logistic regression model was used to identify the factors associated with 30-day readmission following craniotomy for brain metastasis. During the study period, 44,846 index hospitalizations occurred for patients who underwent resection of brain metastasis. In this cohort, 17.8% (n = 7,965) had unplanned readmissions within the first 30 days after discharge from the index hospitalization. The readmission rate did not change significantly during the five-year study period (p-trend = 0.286). The median per-patient cost for 30-day unplanned readmission was $11,109 and this amounted to a total of $26.4 million per year, which extrapolates to a national expenditure of $269.6 million. Increasing age, male sex, insurance status, Elixhauser comorbidity index, length of stay, teaching status of the hospital, neurological complications and infectious complications were associated with 30-day readmission following discharge after an index admission for craniotomy for brain metastasis. Unplanned readmission rates after resection of brain metastasis remain high and involve substantial healthcare expenditures. Developing tools and interventions to prevent avoidable readmissions could focus on the high-risk patients as a future strategy to decrease substantial healthcare expense.