Portal vein/superior mesenteric vein resection in pancreatic cancer treatment in the elderly

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There is an increased interest in extending surgical criteria for pancreatic cancer by performing pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) combined with portal vein (PV) or superior mesenteric vein (SMV) resection and reconstruction for borderline resectable patients. However, whether this procedure suitable for elderly patients remains unclear. Here, we studied cases of pancreatic cancer treatment in our medical center to evaluate feasibility and safety of this procedure in the elderly.Eighty-three patients 65 years of age or older who underwent PD from January 2009 to March 2014 were divided into 2 groups: PD only (Group A, 52 cases), and PD combined with PV/SMV resection and reconstruction (Group B, 31 cases). Surgical outcomes and survival rates were compared between groups. Information regarding preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative conditions, and follow-up visits were provided. The outcomes of postoperative complications and survival rates were investigated.No difference in the preoperative data was detected between 2 groups with the exception that the serum albumin level was significantly lower in Group B (P = .013), indicating more deteriorating health conditions in this group. Although intraoperative time and blood loss were higher in Group B (P < .001 and P = .048, respectively), the overall postoperative complications and survival curve showed no statistical differences between 2 groups with one exception in that there was higher incidence of intractable diarrhea in Group B (P = .034). The symptoms, however, resolved later on with conservative treatment. The median survival time for patients in this study was comparable to other reported PD treatments. There was zero postoperative mortality in both groups.PD combined with PV/SMV treatment did not lead to increased morbidity and motility in elderly patients 65 years of age and above. This procedure could provide a promising opportunity for borderline resectable elderly pancreatic cancer patients.

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