In addition to increased perioperative morbidity, anastomotic leak following gastric resection for gastric cancer can have detrimental effects on overall and disease-free survival. The risk of anastomotic leak following neoadjuvant therapy remains unknown. The purpose of this study is to investigate the association of preoperative chemotherapy and radiation therapy with postoperative anastomotic leak and additional 30-day morbidity and mortality outcomes following total gastrectomy with reconstruction for gastric cancer using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP).
Patients who underwent total gastrectomy with reconstruction for gastric cancer from 2005 to 2012 were identified. Within the NSQIP database, anastomotic leak is captured as an organ space infection. The association of preoperative chemotherapy and radiation therapy with anastomotic leak and additional 30-day morbidity and mortality outcomes was investigated using chi-squared analysis, Fisher’s exact test, and Student’s
A total of 1135 patients met inclusion criteria; 121 (10.7%) patients underwent preoperative chemotherapy within 30 days of surgery, and 53 (4.7%) patients underwent preoperative radiation therapy within 90 days of surgery. Neither preoperative chemotherapy nor radiation therapy was associated with an increased risk of anastomotic leak (
p = 0.12 and
p = 0.58, respectively). When compared to patients who did not undergo neoadjuvant therapy, patients who underwent either preoperative chemotherapy or radiation therapy did not experience a higher frequency of 30-day mortality (
p = 0.41), cardiac (
p = 0.49), wound (
p = 0.76), renal (
p = 0.13), septic (
p = 0.55), or venous thromboembolism (
p = 0.19) events and were significantly less likely to experience a pulmonary event (
p = 0.02).
Neoadjuvant therapy prior to gastric resection for gastric cancer is not associated with an increased risk of anastomotic leak or other additional short-term morbidity or mortality.