Postoperative Complications and Overall Survival After Pancreaticoduodenectomy for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

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Pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) performed for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) has a postoperative morbidity of 40–50%. In this study, we analyzed the impact of high grade complications after PD for PDA on overall survival.


A total of 596 patients that underwent PD for PDA between 2001 and 2009 were identified from a prospective database. Complications were defined and graded (1–5) as per our Institutional Surgical Secondary Events Program. High grade complications were defined as ≥grade 3. Postoperative mortality (≤90 days) was excluded. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify factors associated with overall survival.


Median survival was 24 months. Overall complication rate was 51% (301/596). Low grade complications were recorded in 266 patients (45%) and high grade complications in 22% (n = 129). Our 90 day mortality was 3.7% (n = 22). Anastomotic fistula/leak/abscess rate was 14% (n = 82). Multivariate Cox-Regression analysis identified node positivity, estimated blood loss (EBL) >600 ml, length of stay (LOS) >10 days, margin positivity, and vascular procedures as predictors of decreased overall survival (P < 0.05). High grade complications were not associated with overall survival (P = 0.948).


In this study, the occurrence of high grade postoperative complications was not associated with overall survival. J. Surg. Oncol. 2016;113:188–193. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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