Introduction: Colorectal cancer is uncommon in the Indian subcontinent, so there is a paucity of outcome data from this region. The aim of our study was to identify risk factors for early postoperative morbidity and mortality following curative colorectal cancer surgery in our set-up.
Methods: The data on patients with pathologically confirmed colorectal cancer who underwent curative surgery at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan, between January 1999 and December 2008 were recorded. Patients who developed early postoperative morbidity or mortality were compared with those who followed a healthy course after surgery.
Results: A total of 250 consecutive patients underwent colorectal cancer surgery during the study period. Postoperative complications were found in 34.8 percent of the patients, out of which four deaths occurred. Serum albumin level less than 3.5 g/dl (odds ratio [OR] 3.75, 95 percent confidence interval [CI] 1.37-10.23) and tumours involving the left colon (OR 2.60, 95 percent CI 1.02-6.64) were identified as independent risk factors for early postoperative complications on multivariate analysis.
Conclusion: A low serum albumin level and the presence of a left-sided colonic tumour were significant risk factors for early postoperative complications. Information on these complications and the risk factors for early postoperative outcome is an important consideration for patients and surgeons.