As there was no nationwide database for gastrointestinal surgery in Japan at the time, in 2006, a Clinical Database Committee was established in the Japanese Society of Gastrointestinal Surgery (JSGS) to create a clinical database in Japan. The Committee first organized preliminary nationwide Japanese surveys in gastrointestinal surgery in 2006 and 2007. Data from more than 770 000 patients were accumulated from these web-based surveys, including 333 627 patients in 1039 institutions in 2006 and 440 230 patients in 1464 institutions in 2007. The mortality rate was stratified by organ, surgical procedure and hospital volume without using risk-adjustment techniques. The overall mortality rate was 0.95% in the 2006 survey and 0.92% in the 2007 survey. The organ-based analysis found that the mortality rates were almost similar in 2006 and 2007. Hospital volume influenced the mortality rate in six major surgical procedures, namely esophagectomy, gastrectomy, total gastrectomy, low anterior rectal resection, hepatic resection and pancreaticoduodenectomy. A risk reduction of 30-80% was noted in each surgical procedure, at least in our non-risk-adjusted analysis, in hospitals with a high volume of operations. These preliminary surveys indicate that hospital volume might influence the mortality rate after major abdominal surgery. Further analysis using risk-adjustment techniques should be conducted to understand the specific contribution of hospital volume to surgical mortality. A nationwide database of patients who have undergone gastrointestinal surgery and risk-adjustment analysis of the data are currently planned in Japan.
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