Implications of Postpancreatectomy Hypophosphatemia

Paul Wong, Michael White, Federico Tozzi, Susanne G. Warner, Yanhgee Woo, Gagandeep Singh, Yuman Fong, Laleh Melstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Electrolyte abnormalities are commonly found after major abdominal surgery for malignancy. We hypothesized that the severity of hypophosphatemia developed in pancreatectomy patients would be associated with the incidence of complications postoperatively. Methods: A retrospective analysis of an institutional database was conducted for all pancreatic resections (2009-2017). Patient charts were reviewed for demographics, clinicopathologic factors, and perioperative outcomes. Results: In a cohort of 283 pancreatectomy patients, 107 (37.8%) and 134 (47.3%) developed mild (2.0-2.5 mg/dL) and moderate/severe hypophosphatemia (<2.0 mg/dL), respectively. Nadir serum phosphate levels were shown to occur on postoperative day (POD) 2 for patients without complications and POD3 for patients who had at least 1 complication. Patients who developed severe hypophosphatemia were significantly more likely to suffer fistula-related complications (P =.0401). Conclusions: Assessing the severity and timing of postpancreatectomy hypophosphatemia presents an opportunity for early detection of impending fistula-related complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • complications
  • fistula
  • gastrointestinal
  • pancreatectomy
  • postoperative hypophosphatemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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