Refining the definition of perioperative mortality following hepatectomy using death within 90 days as the standard criterion

Skye C. Mayo, Andrew D. Shore, Hari Nathan, Barish H. Edil, Kenzo Hirose, Robert A. Anders, Christopher L. Wolfgang, Richard D. Schulick, Michael A. Choti, Timothy M. Pawlik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Objectives: Defining perioperative mortality as death that occurs within 30 days of surgery may underestimate 'true' mortality among patients undergoing hepatic resection. To better define perioperative mortality, trends in the risk for death during the first 90 days after hepatectomy were assessed. Methods: Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Medicare data were used to identify 2597 patients who underwent hepatic resection during 1991-2006. Data on their clinicopathological characteristics, surgical management and perioperative mortality were collected and survival was assessed at 30, 60 and 90 days post-surgery. Results: Overall, 5.7% of patients died within the first 30 days. Postoperative mortality at 60 and 90 days were 8.3% and 10.1%. In-hospital mortality after hepatic resection was greater among patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) than among those with colorectal liver metastases (CRLM) (8.9% and 3.8%, respectively; P < 0.001). In CRLM patients, mortality increased from 4.3% at 30 days to 8.4% at 90 days, whereas mortality in HCC patients increased from 9.7% at 30 days to 15.0% at 90 days (both P < 0.05). Patients with HCC were twice as likely as CRLM patients to die within 30 days [odds ratio (OR) 2.03], 60 days (OR = 1.74) and 90 days (OR = 1.71) (all P < 0.001). Differences in 30- and 90-day mortality were greatest among HCC patients undergoing major hepatic resection (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Reporting deaths that occur within a maximum of 30 days of surgery underestimates the mortality associated with hepatic resection. Traditional 30-day definitions of mortality are misleading and surgeons should report all perioperative outcomes that occur within 90 days of hepatic resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-482
Number of pages10
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology and End Results)
  • Medicare
  • SEER (Surveillance
  • hepatectomy
  • mortality
  • surgery
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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