Outcomes After Gastric Resection

Summary and Comment |
May 21, 2007

Outcomes After Gastric Resection

  1. Henry Mark Kuerer, MD, PhD, FACS

Odds of surviving gastric cancer surgery are better at hospitals that perform more gastrectomies annually.

  1. Henry Mark Kuerer, MD, PhD, FACS

Surgical resection is the only potentially curative option for patients with stomach cancer. To determine factors that predict patient outcomes after resection for gastric cancer, researchers evaluated data (collected from 1998 through 2003) on 13,354 patients in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), which is the largest all-payer inpatient database in the U.S.

Overall, the in-hospital mortality rate among patients who underwent gastrectomy was 6.0%. The investigators found that a higher annual surgical volume (>11 cases) at a single hospital predicted lower in-hospital mortality; gastric cancer patients who underwent surgery at higher-volume centers had better outcomes. Significant factors that predicted in-hospital mortality included low annual hospital surgical volume (lowest [≤4 gastrectomies] vs. highest [≥11 gastrectomies], 6.8% vs. 4.9%; adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.2–1.8), older patient age (50–69 vs. <50, 4.0% vs. 2.1%; AOR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1–2.2 and ≥70 vs. <50, 8.6% vs. 2.1%; AOR, 2.9; 95% CI, 2.0–4.3), male sex (male vs. female, 6.7% vs. 5.0%; AOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1–1.5), and complex procedure type (total gastrectomy vs. all other resections, 8.0% vs. 5.3%; AOR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2–1.7).


These results add to a growing body of literature showing that surgical volume is directly related to patient survival and outcomes in the treatment of stomach cancer. Other factors that were significantly associated with superior outcomes after gastric resection included benign tumor diagnosis, less-complex procedure, younger age, female sex, and fewer comorbid conditions. Limitations of this study include a lack of detailed cancer staging information and no long-term survival data. Patients can improve their chances of surviving gastric cancer by choosing hospitals that perform more gastrectomies annually. These findings provide further support for volume-based referral initiatives for patients who require cancer surgery.


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