Introduction: Morbidity and mortality rates following gastric cancer surgery are still high. The present study documented complications requiring reoperation after gastrectomy for gastric cancer and described surgical management for each complication. Materials and Methods: Between 1987 and 2004, 8,033 patients underwent gastrectomy at the Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, and the records were reviewed. Results and discussion: The most frequent complication was intestinal obstruction (88 patients, 54.3%), followed by intraabdominal bleeding (15, 9.3%), wound dehiscence or evisceration (15, 9.3%), incisional hernia (15, 9.3%), anastomotic leakage (seven, 4.2%), acalculous cholecystitis (five, 3.1%), duodenal stump leakage (five, 3.1%), intraabdominal abscess without leakage (five, 3.1%), bowel perforation (five, 3.1%), bile peritonitis due to hepatic duct injury (one, 0.6%), and biliary stricture (one, 0.6%). There were ten cases of hospital mortality (6.2%) from intraabdominal bleeding (four patients), intestinal obstruction (four patients), and anastomotic leakage (two patients). The most common long-term complication requiring reoperation was intestinal obstruction (69, 75.8%) due to adhesive formation rather than technical failure, while short-term complications were surgery-related and associated with high hospital mortality (14.1%). Conclusion: Proper preoperative preparation and faultless surgical skills are required during initial surgery to reduce complications and the need for reoperation.
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Acknowledgments This work was supported by a Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) grant funded by the Korean government (MOST) (R11-2000-082-02009-0).
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