Table 1

The Clavien-Dindo classification of postoperative complications

GradeDefinition (examples listed in italics)
IAny deviation from the normal postoperative course without the need for pharmacological treatment other than the “allowed therapeutic regimens”, or surgical, endoscopic and radiological interventions
Allowed therapeutic regimens are: drugs as antiemetics, antipyretics, analgesics, diuretics and electrolytes. This grade also includes physiotherapy and wound infections opened at the bedside but not treated with antibiotics
Examples: Ileus, thrombophlebitis
IIRequiring pharmacological treatment with drugs beyond those allowed for grade I complications. Blood transfusions and total parenteral nutrition are also included
Examples: Surgical site infection treated with antibiotics, myocardial infarction treated medically, deep venous thrombosis treated with low-molecular weight heparin, pneumonia or urinary tract infection treated with antibiotics
IIIRequiring surgical, endoscopic or radiological intervention
Examples: return to theatre for any reason, endoscopic therapy, interventional radiology
IVLife-threatening complication requiring critical care management; CNS complications including brain haemorrhage and ischaemic stroke (excluding TIA), subarachnoidal bleeding
Examples: Single or multiorgan dysfunction requiring critical care management, for example, pneumonia with ventilator support, renal failure with filtration
VDeath of a patient
  • CNS, central nervous system; TIA, transient ischaemic attack.