Complications after liver surgery: a benchmark analysis

Fabio Bagante, Andrea Ruzzenente, Eliza W. Beal, Tommaso Campagnaro, Katiuscha Merath, Simone Conci, Ozgür Akgül, Sorin Alexandrescu, Hugo P. Marques, Vincent Lam, Feng Shen, George A. Poultsides, Olivier Soubrane, Guillaume Martel, Calogero Iacono, Alfredo Guglielmi, Timothy M. Pawlik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The best achievable short-term outcomes after liver surgery have not been identified. Several factors may influence the post-operative course of patients undergoing hepatectomy increasing the risk of post-operative complications. We sought to identify risk-adjusted benchmark values [BMV] for liver surgery. Methods: The National Surgery Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database was used to develop Bayesian models to estimate risk-adjusted BMVs for overall and liver related (post-hepatectomy liver failure [PHLF], biliary leakage [BL]) complications. A separate international multi-institutional database was used to validate the risk-adjusted BMVs. Results: Among the 11,243 patients included in the NSQIP database, the incidence of complications, PHLF, and BL was 36%, 5%, and 8%, respectively. The risk-adjusted BMVs for complication (range, 16–72%), PHLF (range, 1%–20%), and BL (range, 4%–22%) demonstrated a high variability based on patients characteristics. When tested using an international database including nine institutes, the risk-adjusted BMVs for complications ranged from 26% (Institute-4) to 43% (Institute-1), BMVs for PHLF between 3% (Institute-3) and 12% (Institute-5), while BMVs for BL ranged between 5% (Institute-4) and 9% (Institute-7). Conclusions: Multiple factors influence the risk of complications following hepatectomy. Risk-adjusted BMVs are likely much more applicable and appropriate in assessing “acceptable” benchmark outcomes following liver surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1139-1149
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


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