Intraoperative and early postoperative complications in postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy among patients with germ cell tumors using validated grading classifications

Eric C. Umbreit, Andrew G. McIntosh, Chalairat Suk-ouichai, Luis A. Segarra, Levi C. Holland, Bryan M. Fellman, Stephen B. Williams, Arun Z. Thomas, Shi Ming Tu, Curtis A. Pettaway, Louis L. Pisters, John F. Ward, Christopher G. Wood, Jose A. Karam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy (PC-RPLND) is an essential, yet potentially morbid, therapy for the management of patients with advanced germ cell tumors. In the current study, the authors sought to define the complication profile of PC-RPLND using validated grading systems for intraoperative adverse events (iAEs) and early postoperative complications. Methods: Between 2000 and 2018, all patients who underwent PC-RPLND were analyzed for iAEs and early postoperative complications using the Kaafarani and Clavien-Dindo classifications, respectively. Logistic regression models were conducted to assess patient and tumor factors associated with iAEs and postoperative complications. Results: Of the 453 patients identified, 115 patients (25%) and 252 patients (56%), respectively, experienced an iAE and postoperative complication. Major iAEs (grade ≥3) were observed in 15 patients (3%) and major postoperative complications (grade ≥3) were noted in 80 patients (18%). The most common iAE was vascular injury (112 of 132 events; 85%), which occurred in 92 patients (20%), and the most frequent postoperative complication was ileus, which occurred in 121 patients (27%). Original and postchemotherapy retroperitoneal mass size, nonretroperitoneal metastases, intermediate and/or poor International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group classification, previous RPLND, elevated tumor markers at the time of RPLND, and anticipated adjuvant surgical procedures increased the risk of both iAEs and postoperative complications. Patients who experienced an iAE were significantly more likely to experience a postoperative complication (odds ratio, 2.50; 95% confidence interval, 1.58-3.97 [P <.001]). Conclusions: In what to the authors' knowledge is the first analysis of PC-RPLND using validated classifications for both iAEs and postoperative complications, advanced disease and surgical complexity significantly increased the risks of major iAEs and postoperative complications. Standardized reporting of adverse perioperative events allows providers and patients to appreciate the consequences of PC-RPLND during counseling and decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4878-4885
Number of pages8
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • intraoperative adverse event
  • postchemotherapy
  • postoperative complication
  • retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy
  • testicular cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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