Background Current literature on the effect of postoperative complications on survival outcomes in head and neck cancers remains contradictory. This study assesses whether postoperative complications adversely affect survival in cases of complex surgical ablation and reconstruction of oral squamous cell carcinoma. Methods In all, 255 consecutive patients with complete clinicopathologic data were included. Survival was determined using the log-rank test and Kaplan-Meier survival curves were generated. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to adjust for the effect of other significant covariates to determine the independent effect of complication variables for overall survival (OS). A competing risk model was used for disease-specific survival (DSS). Results On multivariable analysis, major complications independently prognosticated for reduced OS [hazard ratio (HR) 2.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-3.2, p =.02]. There was no evidence for an association between any complication- variable and DSS or recurrence. Conclusions Major postoperative complications are independently associated with decreased OS.
- oral squamous cell carcinoma
- postoperative complications