Risk factors and management of anastomotic leakage after radical gastrectomy for gastric cancer

Cheng Chia Tsou, Su Shin Lo, Wen Liang Fang, Chew N. Wu, Jen Hao Chen, Mao Chih Hsieh, King Han Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aims: Radical gastrectomy remains the primary treatment for gastric cancer without distant metastasis. However, anastomotic leakage and extended lymph node dissection might cause additional morbidity and related mortality. Methodology: From January 1988 to December 2004, 2076 patients with gastric cancer underwent radical gastrectomy at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. The risk factors for anastomotic leakage, including clinicopathological factors, operative procedures, combined organ resection, operating time, blood loss, and associated disease, were analyzed. The various methods used to measure anastomotic leakage and the clinical courses of different sites of anastomotic leakage were compared. Results: The overall complication rate was 18.7% and the incidence of anastomotic leakage was 2.7% (n=57). The anastomotic leakage-related mortality rate was 21.1% (n=12). Older age (≥65 years), longer operating time, more blood loss, and co-morbidities were the precipitating factors. Adequate drainage was the treatment approach used for anastomotic leakage. The incidence of anastomotic leakage was reduced during the later period of the study (3.4% vs 1.8%). Conclusion: Only in an institute with a well-established training program and high volume of gastric cancer patients can we improve the surgical skills and accumulate the experiences with management of anastomotic leakage that make radical gastrectomy safer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-223
Number of pages6
Issue number105
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Anastomotic leakage
  • Management
  • Radical gastrectomy
  • Risk factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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