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Interventions to Prevent Postoperative Complications in Women With Ovarian Cancer

Margaret Kendrick
Elizabeth Ercolano
Ruth McCorkle
CJON 2011, 15(2), 195-202 DOI: 10.1188/11.CJON.195-202

Women with ovarian cancer often undergo multimodal treatment, which may cause physical complications and decrease quality of life. As a result, this article describes postoperative complications in women with suspected primary ovarian cancer, explains factors related to developing postoperative complications, and discusses the clinical implications of postoperative complication management. The researchers used self-report questionnaires completed by women who were within one month after surgery for suspected ovarian cancer (N = 142) to identify postoperative complications. Demographic characteristics also were examined to determine factors that may predict postoperative complications. The most common complications reported were wound infection, fever, and sepsis, followed by ileus, nausea, and vomiting. Women diagnosed with new or late-stage cancer were equally likely to develop a postoperative complication. Healthcare providers should carefully assess women diagnosed with ovarian cancer before surgery to determine their individual risk of developing postoperative complications. All women should be monitored for complications; however, women who are at higher risk because of multiple modalities, late-stage cancer, or the presence of comorbidities warrant particular attention after surgery and discharge.

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