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Ann Surg. 1988 Jan;207(1):7-13.

Postoperative complications and mortality after surgery for gastric cancer.

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Department of Surgery, University Hospital of Bergen, Norway.


Complication rates and postoperative mortality were studied in 1010 consecutive patients entered into the Norwegian Stomach Cancer Trial. Twenty-eight per cent of the patients had one or more complications (31% of the men and 21% of the women). General complications (pneumonia, thromboembolic, and cardiac) were most frequent. The postoperative mortality rate for resected patients was 8.3% (63 of 763). Complication and mortality rates were highest for proximal resections (52% and 16%) followed by total gastrectomy (38% and 8%), subtotal resection (28% and 10%), and distal resection (19% and 7%). By logistic regression analysis it was found that age, sex, operative procedure, prophylactic antibiotics, and splenectomy were significantly related to postoperative complications. The odds ratio for complication for men versus women was 1.75: for no antibiotics versus antibiotic prophylaxis it was 2.5. Relative to distal resection the odds ratio for complications after subtotal resection was 2.2, for total gastrectomy was 3.9, and for proximal resection was 7.6. Age and sex were the only factors that affected operative mortality. The odds ratio for mortality for men versus women was 2.3. The odds ratio for operative mortality was 2.2 when the age of the patient increased with 10 years.

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