A Perioperative Clinical Pathway Can Dramatically Reduce Failure-to-rescue Rates After Cytoreductive Surgery for Peritoneal Carcinomatosis: A Retrospective Study of 666 Consecutive Cytoreductions

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To determine whether a perioperative, standardized clinical pathway could impact the failure-to-rescue rate after cytoreductive surgery (CRS) for peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC) in a tertiary center.

Summary of Background Data:

Morbidity and mortality remain significant after CRS for PC. Clinical pathways have been associated with better outcomes after surgery. The failure-to-rescue rate is a useful metric for evaluating quality in surgery.

Materials and Methods:

This study included 666 patients that received CRS for PC between 2009 and 2014. Starting in 2012, a standardized perioperative clinical pathway was introduced, which focused on patient selection, nutrition, renal protection, pain management, prevention, and early detection of complications. Complications were evaluated with the National Cancer Institute's Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events. We used multivariate analyses to evaluate clinicopathological and perioperative factors for associations with major complications and failure-to-rescue. Complication rates were compared before and after the clinical pathway implementation.


Major complications occurred in 341 patients (51%), leading to 15 deaths. The complication rate was similar before and after clinical pathway introduction (54.75% vs 48.9%, respectively; P = 0.138). Only prolonged surgery (longer than 240 mins) was independently associated with major complications. The failure-to-rescue rate was 4.4% for the entire period, but it significantly decreased after introducing the clinical pathway (9.02% vs 1.02%; P < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, only renal complications were associated with the failure-to-rescue.


Morbidity after CRS remains significant, but standardized management facilitated a reduction in the failure-to-rescue rate and improved the quality of care. Specific effort should be dedicated to preventing postoperative renal failure.

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