Postoperative complications and clinical outcomes among patients undergoing thoracic and gastrointestinal cancer surgery: A prospective cohort study

Frank Daniel Martos-Benítez Anarelys Gutiérrez-Noyola Adisbel Echevarría-Víctores About the authors



This study sought to determine the influence of postoperative complications on the clinical outcomes of patients who underwent thoracic and gastrointestinal cancer surgery.


A prospective cohort study was conducted regarding 179 consecutive patients who received thorax or digestive tract surgery due to cancer and were admitted to an oncological intensive care unit. The Postoperative Morbidity Survey was used to evaluate the incidence of postoperative complications. The influence of postoperative complications on both mortality and length of hospital stay were also assessed.


Postoperative complications were found for 54 patients (30.2%); the most common complications were respiratory problems (14.5%), pain (12.9%), cardiovascular problems (11.7%), infectious disease (11.2%), and surgical wounds (10.1%). A multivariate logistic regression found that respiratory complications (OR = 18.68; 95%CI = 5.59 - 62.39; p < 0.0001), cardiovascular problems (OR = 5.06, 95%CI = 1.49 - 17.13; p = 0.009), gastrointestinal problems (OR = 26.09; 95%CI = 6.80 - 100.16; p < 0.0001), infectious diseases (OR = 20.55; 95%CI = 5.99 - 70.56; p < 0.0001) and renal complications (OR = 18.27; 95%CI = 3.88 - 83.35; p < 0.0001) were independently associated with hospital mortality. The occurrence of at least one complication increased the likelihood of remaining hospitalized (log-rank test, p = 0.002).


Postoperative complications are frequent disorders that are associated with poor clinical outcomes; thus, structural and procedural changes should be implemented to reduce postoperative morbidity and mortality.

Gastrointestinal neoplasms/surgery; Gastrointestinal neoplasms/complications; Thoracic neoplasms/surgery; Thoracic neoplasms/complications; Postoperative complication; Hospital mortality; Length of hospital stay; Treatment outcome

Associação de Medicina Intensiva Brasileira - AMIB Rua Arminda, 93 - Vila Olímpia, CEP 04545-100 - São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel.: (11) 5089-2642 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil