BackgroundIt is uncertain whether the association of the intraoperative driving pressure (ΔP) with postoperative pulmonary complications (PPCs) depends on the surgical approach during abdominal surgery. Our primary objective was to determine and compare the association of time–weighted average ΔP (ΔPTW) with PPCs. We also tested the association of ΔPTW with intraoperative adverse events.MethodsPosthoc retrospective propensity score–weighted cohort analysis of patients undergoing open or closed abdominal surgery in the ‘Local ASsessment of Ventilatory management during General Anaesthesia for Surgery’ (LAS VEGAS) study, that included patients in 146 hospitals across 29 countries. The primary endpoint was a composite of PPCs. The secondary endpoint was a composite of intraoperative adverse events.ResultsThe analysis included 1128 and 906 patients undergoing open or closed abdominal surgery, respectively. The PPC rate was 5%. ΔP was lower in open abdominal surgery patients, but ΔPTW was not different between groups. The association of ΔPTW with PPCs was significant in both groups and had a higher risk ratio in closed compared to open abdominal surgery patients (1.11 [95%CI 1.10 to 1.20], P < 0.001 versus 1.05 [95%CI 1.05 to 1.05], P < 0.001; risk difference 0.05 [95%CI 0.04 to 0.06], P < 0.001). The association of ΔPTW with intraoperative adverse events was also significant in both groups but had higher odds ratio in closed compared to open abdominal surgery patients (1.13 [95%CI 1.12– to 1.14], P < 0.001 versus 1.07 [95%CI 1.05 to 1.10], P < 0.001; risk difference 0.05 [95%CI 0.030.07], P < 0.001).ConclusionsΔP is associated with PPC and intraoperative adverse events in abdominal surgery, both in open and closed abdominal surgery.Trial registrationLAS VEGAS was registered at clinicaltrials.gov (trial identifier NCT01601223).