Impact of postoperative complications on survival after oesophagectomy for oesophageal cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • J. R. Bundred
  • A. C. Hollis
  • R. Evans
  • J. Hodson
  • J. L. Whiting
  • And 1 others
  • E. A. Griffiths

External organisations

  • School of Dentistry, College of Medical and Dental SciencesUniversity of Birmingham Birmingham UK


BACKGROUND:Recent evidence suggests that complications after oesophagectomy may decrease short- and long-term survival of patients with oesophageal cancer. This study aimed to analyse the impact of complications on survival in a Western cohort. METHODS:Complications after oesophagectomy were recorded for all patients operated on between January 2006 and February 2017, with severity defined using the Clavien-Dindo classification. Associations between complications and overall and recurrence-free survival were assessed using univariable and multivariable Cox regression models. RESULTS:Of 430 patients, 292 (67·9 per cent) developed postoperative complications, with 128 (39·8 per cent) classified as Clavien-Dindo grade III or IV. No significant associations were detected between Clavien-Dindo grade and either tumour (T) (P = 0·071) or nodal (N) status (P = 0·882). There was a significant correlation between Clavien-Dindo grade and ASA fitness grade (P = 0·032). In multivariable analysis, overall survival in patients with Clavien-Dindo grade I complications was similar to that in patients with no complications (hazard ratio (HR) 0·97, P = 0·915). However, patients with grade II and IV complications had significantly shorter overall survival than those with no complications: HR 1·64 (P = 0·007) and 1·74 (P = 0·013) respectively. CONCLUSION:Increasing severity of complications after oesophagectomy was associated with decreased overall survival. Prevention of complications should improve survival.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-415
JournalBJS Open
Issue number3
Early online date17 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020