Duodenal stump fistula after gastric surgery for malignancies: a retrospective analysis of risk factors in a single centre experience

Elena Orsenigo, Massimiliano Bissolati, Carlo Socci, Damiano Chiari, Francesca Muffatti, Jacopo Nifosi, Carlo Staudacher

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Background: Duodenal stump fistula (DSF) is the most severe surgical complication after gastrectomy. This study was designed to assess the incidence, to observe the consequences, and to identify the risk factors associated with DSF after gastrectomy.

Methods: All procedures involving total or sub-total gastrectomy for cancer, performed between January 1987 and June 2012 in a single institution, were prospectively entered into a computerized database. Risk factors analysis was performed between DSF patients, patients with complete uneventful postoperative course and patients with other major surgical complications.

Results: Over this 25 years period, 1287 gastrectomies were performed. DSF was present in 32 cases (2.5 %). Mean post-operative onset was 6.6 days. 19 patients were treated conservatively and 13 surgically. Mean DSF healing time was 31.2 and 45.2 days in the two groups, respectively. Mortality was registered in 3 cases (9.37 %), due to septic shock (2 cases) and bleeding (1 case). In monovariate analysis, heart disease (p 300 mL (OR 4.47; p = 0.001) and absence of manual reinforcement over duodenal stump (OR 30.47; p 

Conclusions: Duodenal stump fistula still remains a life-threatening complication after gastric surgery. Co-morbidity factors, nutritional status impairment and surgical technical difficulties should be considered as important risk factors in developing this awful complication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-744
Number of pages12
JournalGastric Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 20 2014



  • Duodenal stump fistula
  • Gastrectomy
  • Gastric cancer
  • Risk factors
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Cancer Research
  • Medicine(all)

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