Pancreaticoduodenectomy in elderly adults: Is it justified in terms of mortality, long-term morbidity, and quality of life?

Fabian Gerstenhaber*, Julie Grossman, Nir Lubezky, Eran Itzkowitz, Ido Nachmany, Ronen Sever, Menahem Ben-Haim, Richard Nakache, Joseph M. Klausner, Guy Lahat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Objectives To evaluate long-term morbidity, mortality, and quality of life (QoL) after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) in elderly adults. Design Retrospective cohort study. Setting Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel-Aviv, Israel. Participants One hundred and sixty-eight individuals aged 70 and older who underwent PD between 1995 and 2010. Measurements A prospective pancreatic surgery database was analyzed for postoperative morbidity; mortality; intensive care unit (ICU), hospital, and rehabilitation facility stay; and readmissions after surgery. QoL was assessed using a validated questionnaire completed 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery. Results Seventy-two percent of the participants had an American Society of Anesthesiologists score of 3 or greater. There was no intraoperative death. Thirty- and 60-day postoperative mortality rates were 5.9% and 6.5%, respectively. Median ICU stay was 2 days, and median hospital stay was 22 days. Sixty-four participants (37.5%) were discharged to a rehabilitation facility. The first-year readmission rate was 31%. One- and 2-year overall survival rates were 58% and 36%, respectively. Global QoL scores 3 and 12 months after surgery were 68% and 73%, respectively. Scores were lower yet comparable with those of matched individuals undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Conclusion Most elderly adults with pancreatic cancer survive longer than 1 year after PD; 36% survive longer than 2 years. These individuals are likely to have acceptable long-term morbidity and overall good QoL, corresponding with their age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1351-1357
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • elderly
  • long-term morbidity
  • mortality
  • pancreaticoduodenectomy
  • quality of life


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