Morbidity and Mortality of Non-pancreatectomy operations for pancreatic cancer: An ACS-NSQIP analysis

Alexandra M. Adams, Bradley N. Reames, Robert W. Krell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Patients with pancreas cancer may undergo palliative gastrointestinal or biliary bypass. Recent comparisons of post-operative outcomes following such procedures are lacking. Methods: We analyzed patients undergoing exploration, gastrojejunostomy, biliary bypass or double bypass for pancreatic cancer using data from the 2005–2019 American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. We compared 30-day mortality and complications across procedures and over time periods (2005-10, 2011-14, 2015-19) using multivariable regression models. Factors associated with postoperative mortality were identified. Results: Of 43,525 patients undergoing surgery with a postoperative diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, 5572 met inclusion criteria. Palliative operations included 1037 gastrojejunostomies, 792 biliary bypasses, 650 double bypasses, and 3093 explorations. The proportion of biliary and double bypass procedures decreased from 2005-10 to 2015-19. Gastrojejunostomy had higher 30-day mortality rate (11.5%) than other operations (p < 0.001). Adjusted 30-day mortality rates remained stable over time (7.8% vs 6.3%, p = 0.095), while rates of serious complications decreased over time (23.2% vs 17.1%, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Palliative bypass for pancreatic cancer has not become safer over time, and 30-day mortality and complications remain high.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Double bypass
  • Gastrojejunostomy
  • Hepaticojejunostomy
  • Palliative surgery
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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