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Surgery Research and Practice
Volume 2015, Article ID 376540, 5 pages
Research Article

Leakage after Surgery for Rectum Cancer: Inconsistency in Reporting to the Danish Colorectal Cancer Group

Surgical Department A, Odense University Hospital, Denmark

Received 9 September 2015; Accepted 18 October 2015

Academic Editor: Gregory Kouraklis

Copyright © 2015 L. Borly et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. Anastomotic leakage accounts for up to 1/3 of all fatalities after rectal cancer surgery. Evidence suggests that anastomotic leakage has a negative prognostic impact on local cancer recurrence and long-term cancer specific survival. The reported leakage rate in 2011 in Denmark varied from 7 to 45 percent. The objective was to clarify if the reporting of anastomotic leakage to the Danish Colorectal Cancer Group was rigorous and unequivocal. Methods. An Internet-based questionnaire was e-mailed to all Danish surgical departments, who reported to Danish Colorectal Cancer Group (DCCG) in 2011. There were 23 questions. Four core questions were whether pelvic collection, fecal appearance in a pelvic drain, rectovaginal fistula, and “watchfull” waiting patients were reported as anastomotic leakage. Results. Fourteen out of 17 departments, who in 2011 according to DDCG performed rectal cancer surgery, answered the questionnaire. This gave a response rate of 82%. In three of four core questions there was disagreement in what should be reported as anastomotic leakage. Conclusion. The reporting of anastomotic leakage to the Danish Colorectal Cancer Group was not rigorous and unequivocal. The reported anastomotic leakage rate in Danish Colorectal Cancer Group should be interpreted with caution.