Complication Grading in Surgery

  • Roxane D. Staiger
  • Diana Vetter
  • Pierre-Alain Clavien


Reliable reporting of postoperative complications is essential for the assessment and comparison of surgical quality. Postoperative mortality has drastically decreased over the past decades; therefore, focus has shifted toward nonlethal endpoints. Standardized methodologies of complication grading are of paramount importance for such quality assessments. Inconsistent definitions of morbidity and surgical complications have been replaced by various intra- and postoperative complication grading systems. This chapter summarizes, compares, and discusses the most influential and widely used complication classifications and indexes of the past two decades. Additionally, it provides a small outlook into the future of outcome research and on prospective approaches of quality improvement in surgery.


Complication Morbidity Complication grading Outcome research 



Research Grant from the Olga Mayenfisch Foundation to Roxane D. Staiger, MD.

Research Grant from the Liver and Gastrointestinal Disease (LGID) foundation to Pierre-Alain Clavien, MD, PhD.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roxane D. Staiger
    • 1
  • Diana Vetter
    • 1
  • Pierre-Alain Clavien
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery and TransplantationUniversity Hospital of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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