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Background. Peritoneal carcinomatosis has been regarded as a uniformly lethal clinical entity. Recently, dose-intensive treatments combining cytoreductive surgery and intraperitoneal chemotherapy have resulted in long-term survival in selected patients.
Methods. This article reports the morbidity and mortality associated with this new treatment strategy in 45 consecutive treatments of 43 patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis treated during an 18-month interval.
Results. The duration of median postoperative ileus was 21 days, and increased age of the patient and extent of cytoreduction caused an increased incidence of ileus. Twenty-one complications occurred in 17 patients (37.7%). Complications related to enteric function included fistula (n = 4), bile leak (n = 1), pancreatitis (n = 1), and anastomotic disruption (n = 1). There were two early and two late episodes of postoperative bleeding requiring reoperation. Six patients had pneumonia and one had deep vein thrombosis. There were no deaths. Six of the seven complications related to enteric function occurred in patients who had undergone induction intraperitoneal chemotherapy before cytoreductive surgery plus early postoperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy.
Conclusions. As a result of these findings, induction intraperitoneal chemotherapy is only recommended for patients with low-volume intraabdominal cancer. In most patients surgical removal of peritoneal carcinomatosis before intraperitoneal chemotherapy is recommended. Because of the significant morbidity related to treatment of peritoneal carcinomatosis, careful patient selection and favorable long-term results of treatment are required.
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Accepted: February 15, 1992
© 1993 Published by Elsevier Inc.