Background: Pulmonary complications remain relatively high in morbidities that arise after liver surgery and are associated with increased length of hospital stay and higher cost. Identification of possible risk factors in this retrospective analysis may help reduce operative morbidity and achieve better outcomes. Methods: In all, 363 consecutive patients underwent elective hepatectomies between July 2008 and November 2013 and these were identified and analyzed retrospectively. Patient demographics and perioperative variables were collected. The main outcome was an analysis of risk factors associated with postoperative pleural effusion (PPE). Results: Of 363 patients receiving hepatectomies, 80 patients (22.0%) developed pulmonary complications. The predominant pulmonary complication in this series is pleural effusion (76 patients, 95%). Univariate analysis found that older age, higher body mass index (BMI), chronic obstructive lung disease, asthma, heart disease, hepatitis C infection, heavy smoking, American Society of Anesthesiology class III and IV, hepatectomy site, combined surgeries, perioperative blood transfusion, and cirrhosis of liver were associated with PPE. Only older age, higher BMI, asthma, heavy smoker, combined gastrointestinal surgeries, and perioperative blood transfusion were identified as independent risk factors in multivariate analysis. Conclusion: This study identifies 6 risk factors for PPE. Identification and management of some of these factors could possibly reduce morbidity and improve short-term surgical outcomes.
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