Pancreaticoduodenectomy can be Performed Safely in Patients Aged 80 years and Older

Minna K. Lee, Joseph DiNorcia, Patrick L. Reavey, Marc M. Holden, Jeanine M. Genkinger, James A. Lee, Beth A. Schrope, John A. Chabot, John D. Allendorf

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71 Scopus citations


Background: Surgery offers the only chance for cure in patients with pancreatic cancer, and a growing number of elderly patients are being offered resection. We examined outcomes after pancreaticoduodenectomy in patients 80 years and older. Methods: We retrospectively collected data on pancreaticoduodenectomy patients from 1992 to 2009 to compare outcomes between patients older and younger than 80 years. Variables were compared using t-, Wilcoxon rank-sum, or Fisher's exact tests. Survival was compared using Kaplan-Meier analysis and log-rank test. Results: Patients 80 years and older who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy were similar with respect to sex, race, blood loss, operative times, reoperation, length of stay, and readmission compared to younger patients. There were no differences in overall complications (47% vs. 51%, p = 0.54), major complications (19% vs. 25%, p = 0.25), and mortality (5% vs. 4%, p = 0.53) when comparing older to younger patients. In a subset who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy for ductal adenocarcinoma, older patients (n = 45) had a median survival time of 11.6 months compared to 18.1 months in younger patients (n = 346; p < 0.01). Conclusion: Pancreaticoduodenectomy can be performed safely in select patients 80 years and older. Age alone should not dissuade surgeons from offering patients resection, though elderly patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma appear to have shorter survival than younger patients with the same disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1838-1846
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Elderly patient
  • Octogenarian
  • Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  • Pancreatic resection
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy


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