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Minerva Chirurgica 2010 February;65(1):1-9


language: Italian

Is there an age limit for radical surgery in case of tumors infiltrating the duodenum?

Ballarin R. 1, Spaggiari M. 1, Di Benedetto F. 1, De Ruvo N. 1, Cautero N. 1, Montalti R. 1, Guerrini G. P. 1, Longo C. 2, Mimmo A. 1, D’Amico G. 1, Gerunda G. E. 1

1 Centro Trapianti di Fegato e Multiviscerale, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italia; 2 Clinica Chirurgica III, Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italia


AIM: Radical resection is the only potential cure for pancreatic malignancies and a useful treatment for other benign diseases, such as pancreatitis. Over the last two decades, medical and surgical improvements have drastically changed the postoperative outcome of elderly patients undergoing pancreatic resection, and appropriate treatment for elderly potential candidates for pancreatic resection has become an important issue.
METHODS: A hundred and five consecutive patients undergoing radical pancreatic resection between 2003 and 2007 at the Surgery Unit of the University of Modena, Italy, were considered and divided into two groups according to their age, i.e., over 75-year olds (group 1, 25 patients) and under 75-year-olds (group 2, 80 patients). The two groups were compared as regards to demographic features, American Society of Anesthesiologists scores, comorbidities, previous major surgery, surgical procedure, postoperative mortality, and morbidity.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the two groups concerning postoperative mortality, and the duration of hospital stay and days in the postoperative Intensive Care Unit were also similar. Complications such as pancreatic fistulas, wound infections, and pneumonia were more frequent in the older group, but the differences were not statistically significant.
CONCLUSION: In the light of these findings and as reported for other series, old age is probably not directly related with any increase in the rate of postoperative complications, but comorbidities (which are naturally related to the patients’ previous life) may have a key role in the postoperative course.

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