Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2-1-2009


This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Journal of the American College of Surgeons Volume 208, Issue 2, February 2009, Pages 210-217. The published version is available at . DOI: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2008.10.019. Copyright (c) Elsevier Inc..


Background: Obesity has been implicated as a risk factor for perioperative and postoperative complications. The aim of this study was determine the impact of obesity on morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD).

Study Design: Between January 2000 and July 2007, 262 patients underwent PD at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (TJUH), of whom 240 had complete data, including body mass index (BMI) for analysis. Data on BMI, preoperative parameters, operative details, and post-operative course were collected. Patients were categorized as obese (BMI >30 kg/m2), overweight (25≤BMI<30), or normal weight (BMI<25). Complications were graded according to previous published scales. Other endpoints included length of postoperative hospital stay, blood loss, and operative duration. Analyses were performed using univariate and multivariable models.

Results: There were 103 (42.9%) normal weight, 71 (29.6%) overweight and 66 (27.5%) obese patients. There were 5 perioperative deaths (2.1%) with no differences across BMI categories. A significant difference in median operative duration and blood loss between obese and normal weight patients was identified (439vs. 362.5minutes, p= 0.0004; 650 vs. 500 ml, p=0.0139). Furthermore, median length of stay was marginally significantly longer for by BMI (9.5 vs. 8 days, p=0.095). While there were no significant differences in superficial wound infections, obese patients did have an increased rate of serious complications compared to normal weight patients (24.2% vs. 13.6%, respectively; p=0.10).

Conclusions: Obese patients undergoing PD have a significantly increased blood loss and longer operative time, but do not have a significantly increased length of postoperative hospital stay or rate of serious complications. These findings should be considered when assessing patients for operation and when counseling patients regarding operative risk, but do not preclude obese individuals from undergoing definitive pancreatic surgery.

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