Background. Primary bone and soft tissue sarcomas are rare tumors requiring wide surgical resection and reconstruction to achieve local control. Postoperative complications can lead to delays in adjuvant therapy, potentially affecting long-term oncologic outcomes. Understanding postoperative complication risks is essential; however, past studies are limited by small sample sizes. Purpose. This study uses a large national registry to characterize the incidence of complications and mortality in the first thirty days following surgical management of primary bone and soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities. Methods. A retrospective review of patients in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database was performed. Cases were identified using diagnosis codes for malignant neoplasm of soft tissue or bone and procedure codes for amputation and radical resection. The cohort was subdivided by bone versus soft tissue sarcoma, upper versus lower extremity, and amputation versus limb salvage. Results. One thousand, one hundred eleven patients were identified. The most frequent complications were surgical site infections, sepsis, and venous thromboembolism. The overall incidence of complications was 14.0%. Unplanned readmission and reoperation occurred after 7.0% and 8.0% of cases, respectively. Thirty-day mortality was 0.3%, with one intraoperative death. Patient factors and complication rates varied by tumor location and surgical modality. Lower extremity cases were associated with higher rates of wound complications and infectious etiologies such as surgical site infections, urinary tract infections, and systemic sepsis. In contrast, patients undergoing amputation were more likely to experience major medical complications including acute renal failure, cardiac arrest, and myocardial infarction. Conclusion. Approximately 1 in 7 patients will experience a complication in the first thirty days following surgery for primary bone and soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities. The unique risk profiles of lower extremity and amputation cases should be considered during perioperative planning and surveillance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas