Perioperative risk assessment for patients with cirrhosis and liver disease

Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Feb;3(1):65-75. doi: 10.1586/17474124.3.1.65.


Patients with cirrhosis are at an increased risk of complications of operative procedures. There is a growing understanding of the nature of the risks that cirrhotic patients experience, as well as more precise and objective tools to gauge the patients at risk for surgical complications. Surgical procedures that are common and high risk for patients with cirrhosis are cardiac surgery, cholecystectomy and hepatic resections, as well as other abdominal surgeries and orthopedic surgeries. The physicians who care for patients with cirrhosis who require a surgical procedure can apply an understanding of the type of surgery anticipated with knowledge of the severity of the patient's liver disease to predict those patients at risk for operative morbidity and mortality. A sound knowledge of the specific operative risks faced by patients with cirrhosis should prompt the clinician to take steps to prevent these complications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Surgical Procedures
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Humans
  • Liver / surgery
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications*
  • Liver Diseases / complications*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Risk Assessment