Application of a Novel Severity Grading System for Surgical Complications after Colorectal Resection

Haggi Mazeh, Yacov Samet, Bassam Abu-Wasel, Nahum Beglaibter, Ronit Grinbaum, Tzeela Cohen, Meir Pinto, Tamar Hamburger, Herbert R. Freund, Aviram Nissan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Uniform and accurate reporting of surgical complications is the basis for quality control. We developed a computerized system for reporting and grading surgical complications in colorectal surgery. This study was conducted to evaluate this computerized reporting system. Study Design: A retrospective chart review was conducted of all surgical complications in patients who underwent resection of the colon or rectum at our institution between the years 1999 and 2004 (n = 408). All complications were recorded using the computerized reporting system and compared with complications reported in the literature. Results: Elective operations were performed in 75.7% of patients, and 24.3% required emergency operations. Of the 408 patients in the study, 239 (58.6%) had an uneventful recovery without complications. At least 1 complication was recorded in 169 (41.4%) patients. Grades 1 and 2 complications were recorded in 83 (20.3%) and 105 (25.7%) patients, respectively, requiring observation or medical treatment only, and 59 patients (14.5%) had grades 3 to 5 complications. The three leading complications were surgical site infection, intraabdominal abscess, and hemorrhage requiring blood transfusion. The grades 3 to 5 complication rate was within the range described in the literature, and the rate of grades 1 and 2 complications was substantially higher. These grades 1 and 2 complications were associated with a substantially longer hospital stay. Conclusions: This novel complication reporting system was found feasible and proved to have a higher sensitivity for recording minor but meaningful complications that tend to prolong hospital stay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-361.e5
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


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