Gastric Cancer

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 190–201 | Cite as

Effect of hospital and surgeon volume on postoperative outcomes after distal gastrectomy for gastric cancer based on data from 145,523 Japanese patients collected from a nationwide web-based data entry system

  • Masaaki Iwatsuki
  • Hiroyuki Yamamoto
  • Hiroaki Miyata
  • Yoshihiro Kakeji
  • Kazuhiro Yoshida
  • Hiroyuki Konno
  • Yasuyuki Seto
  • Hideo BabaEmail author
Original Article



Despite interest in surgeon and hospital volume effects on distal gastrectomy, clinical significance has not been confirmed in a large-scale population. We studied to clarify the effects of surgeon and hospital volume on postoperative mortality after distal gastrectomy for gastric cancer among Japanese patients in a nationwide web-based data entry system.


We extracted data on distal gastrectomy for gastric cancer from the National Clinical Database between 2011 and 2015. The primary outcome was operative mortality. Hospital volume was divided into 3 tertiles: low (1–22 cases per year), medium (23–51) and high (52–404). Surgeon volume was divided into the 5 groups: 0–3, 4–10, 11–20, 21–50, 51 + cases per year. We calculated the 95% confidence interval (CI) for the mortality rate based on odds ratios (ORs) estimated from a hierarchical logistic regression model.


We analyzed 145,523 patients at 2182 institutions. Operative mortality was 1.9% in low-, 1.0% in medium- and 0.5% in high-volume hospitals. The operative mortality rate decreased definitively with surgeon volume, 1.6% in the 0–3 group and 0.3% in the 51 + group. After risk adjustment for surgeon and hospital volume and patient characteristics, hospital volume was significantly associated with operative morality (medium: OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.56–0.73, P < 0.001; high: OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.35–0.51, P < 0.001).


We demonstrate that hospital volume can have a crucial impact on postoperative mortality after distal gastrectomy compared with surgeon volume in a nationwide population study. These findings suggest that centralization may improve outcomes after distal gastrectomy.


Gastric cancer Distal gastrectomy Hospital volume 



The authors thank all of the data managers and hospitals participating in this NCD project for their great efforts in entering the data analyzed in this study. The authors also thank Prof Hideki Hashimoto and Noboru Motomura, MD, for providing direction for the foundation of the NCD and the working members of the JSGS database committee (Harushi Udagawa, MD; Michiaki Unno, MD; Itaru Endo, MD; Chikara Kunisaki, MD; Akinobu Taketomi, MD; Akira Tangoku, MD; Tadahiko Masaki, MD; Shigeru Maruhashi, MD; Kazuhiro Yoshida, MD). The authors also thank Hiroyuki Konno, MD, for his important suggestions regarding this article. This work was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, grant number 16K10463 (For M.I.).


None of these organizations had any role in the design and conduct of the study, data collection, data analysis, data management, data interpretation, or the preparation, review, and approval of this manuscript. This work was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, grant number 16K10463 (For M.I.).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Hiroaki Miyata and Hiroyuki Yamamoto are affiliated with the Department of Healthcare Quality Assessment at the University of Tokyo. The department is a social collaboration department supported by grants from the National Clinical Database, Johnson & Johnson K.K., and Nipro Co.


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Copyright information

© The International Gastric Cancer Association and The Japanese Gastric Cancer Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Graduate School of Medical SciencesKumamoto UniversityKumamotoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Healthcare Quality Assessment, Graduate School of MedicineThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Health Policy and Management, School of MedicineKeio UniversityTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Database Committee, The Japanese Society of Gastroenterological SurgeryTokyoJapan
  5. 5.Department of Surgical OncologyGifu University School of MedicineGifuJapan
  6. 6.Hamamatsu University School of MedicineHamamatsuJapan
  7. 7.The Japanese Society of Gastroenterological SurgeryTokyoJapan

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