Risk of nonshunt abdominal operation in the patient with cirrhosis

R. Wong, W. Rappaport, C. Witte, G. Hunter, P. Jaffe, K. Hall, D. Witzke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The hazards of operative treatment for variceal hemorrhage and intractable ascites in patients with cirrhosis are well known. Much less information is available on the morbidity and mortality in these patients after abdominal operations not directly related to the sequelae of portal hypertension. STUDY DESIGN: We reviewed the records of 77 consecutive histologically proved cases of cirrhosis in patients undergoing 85 general surgical, abdominal procedures during a ten year period. Logistic regression analysis was done on 32 preoperative and intraoperative variables with relation to postoperative outcome. RESULTS: There were 47 men and 30 women, with a mean age of 61 years (range of 28 to 86 years). The 30-day mortality rate was 18 percent (15 of 77 patients). Emergent operation was associated with a mortality rate of 32 percent (11 of 35 patients) compared with 8 percent (four of 50 patients) after elective procedures (p<0.05). Extensive complications occurred in 28 percent of patients (24 patients; 14 percent after elective operative treatment and 49 percent after emergent procedures). The mortality rate was greatest after gastric procedures (38 percent). Other factors of statistical significance (p<0.05) associated with poor postoperative outcome included cachexia, preoperative transfusion of fresh frozen plasma, and intraoperative platelet transfusion. Surprisingly, operative blood loss, presence of ascites, and operative time were not associated with increased complications or death. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that elective, nonshunt abdominal operations can be performed with acceptable morbidity and mortality rates in selected patients with cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-416
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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