Quality of life after surgery of the alimentary tract.

Marco Scarpa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent decades, patient-reported outcomes have become important in clinical medicine. Nowadays, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is considered a primary outcome in many clinical trials, and it is often the major criterion for judging treatment success. At the beginning of the 21st century, morbidity and mortality rates after surgery of the alimentary tract have dropped dramatically and they can no longer be considered the only outcome measures to determine the success of a surgical procedure. QOL can yield a definitely more patient-orientated measure of outcome that provides us with a more formal measure of the patient's judgment and desires, which can influence treatment decisions. Nevertheless, despite a very large number of published papers on HRQOL, there is some skepticism on the value of HRQOL and other patient-related outcomes. Therefore, this topic highlight aims to assess how QOL after surgery of the alimentary tract is covered in the medical literature. Different reviews have analyzed the topic according to different points of view: benign and malignant disease; curative and palliative treatment; open and minimally invasive surgical approach; traditional and newly introduced surgical procedures. This topic highlight does not aim to cover all the possible diseases or different surgical procedures, but it does describe the different approaches in order to give the reader a broad spectrum of analysis of QOL after surgery. This quick overview could stimulate the reader to form his/her own opinion about how to use this primary outcome measure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5020-5023
Number of pages4
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - Oct 28 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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