Surgical Complication

The classification’s basic principle is to grade complications according to the treatment that is induced to treat the complication. It consists of 5 grades with 2 grades being further subdivided.


Hence, the classification enables its use in a contracted or extended form depending on the user’s objective. The classification eliminates subjective interpretation of serious adverse events and any tendency to down-rate complications, because it is based on data that is usually well documented and easy to verify. It is also well suited for retrospective analyses.


In order to further avoid subjectivity in complication reporting, we purposely avoided qualitative terms such as ‘minor’ or ‘major’ to grade the complications.



Failure to cure

Diseases or conditions that remain unchanged after surgery.


Are conditions that are inherent in the procedure, and that thus will inevitably occur (such as scar formation or the inability to walk after an amputation).




Literature (selection)

Proposed classsification of complication of surgery with examples ot utility in cholecystectomy

Clavien P., Sanabria J., Strasberg S.

Surgery. 1992; 111:518-526


Definition and classification of negative outcomes in solid organ transplantation

Clavien P., Camargo C., Croxford R. et al.

Ann Surg. 1992; 216: 618-626


Classification of surgical complications. A new proposal with evalutation in a cohort of 6336 patients and results of a survey.

Dindo D., Demartines N., Clavien P.A.

Ann Surg. 2004; 240: 205-213


Assessment of complications after pancreatic surgery

De Oliveira, Winter J., Schäfer M, Cunningham St., Cameron J. Yeo C. and Clavien P.A.

Ann Surg. 2006; 244: 931-937