BACKGROUND: As the number of elderly people in our population increases, there will be a greater number of octogenarians who will need pancreaticoduodenectomy as the only curative option for periampullary malignancies. This study evaluated clinical outcomes of pancreaticoduodenectomy in octogenarians, in comparison to younger patients.
METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted of 216 consecutive patients who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy from January 2007 to April 2015. A two-sided Fisher's exact statistical analysis was used to compare pre-operative comorbidities, intra-operative factors, surgical pathology, and post-operative complication rates between non-octogenarians and octogenarians.
RESULTS: One hundred and eighty three non-octogenarians and 33 octogenarians underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy. Of patients with periampullary adenocarcinoma, octogenarians were more likely to present with advanced disease state (P=0.01). The two cohorts had similar ASA scores (P=0.62); however, octogenarians were more likely to have coronary artery disease (P=0.03). The length of operation was shorter in octogenarians (P=0.002). Mortality rates (P=0.49) and overall postoperative complication rates (P=1.0) were similar in two cohorts; however octogenarians had a higher incidence of pulmonary embolism (P=0.02).
CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrates that octogenarians can undergo pancreaticoduodenectomy with outcomes similar to those in younger patients. Thus, patients should not be denied a curative surgical option for periampullary malignancy based on advanced age alone.