Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Surgical Secondary Events (SSE) System©

Monitoring postsurgical events is a hallmark of outcome and quality measurement. Currently, hospitals report such complications in significantly different ways, however, and there is no single, accepted approach to identifying, rating, and reporting surgical complications.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Surgical Secondary Events (SSE) System© enables hospitals to capture information about oncology-related surgical complications in a consistent and reproducible way. Data captured through this system are available to carry out analyses such as the following:

  • postoperative morbidity and mortality review
  • comparison of institutions for medical-intervention decision-support projects
  • promotion of quality improvement in patient management

The Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering developed the approach in 2001 under the guidance of surgical oncologist David P. Jacques. It represents a modification of the Clavien-Dindo classification system of surgical complications reporting, with a focus on five tiered grades. We further defined complications by physiologic system, and refined our categories to oncologic-specific procedures.

Our system classifies more than 220 distinct surgical complications following oncologic surgery and is designed for a medical practice in which procedures are almost entirely limited to cancer treatment or the management of postsurgical complications occurring within 30 days of intervention.

We invite administrators at hospitals interested in using Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Surgical Secondary Events (SSE) System© to submit a request to receive links to download the system (available in a variety of formats) using the form below. You can also make a request to have the links resent to you by email. If you would like to recommend additions or changes to the definitions provided in the SSE System© , please contact

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