Fourteen years of pancreatic surgery for malignancy among ACS-NSQIP centers: Trends in major morbidity and mortality



      The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program was established to help participating hospitals track and report surgical complications with the goal of improving surgical care. We sought to determine whether this has led to improvements in surgical outcomes for pancreatic malignancies.


      Patients with pancreatic malignancies who underwent surgical resection were identified from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database (2006–2019). Thirty-day postoperative major morbidity and mortality were analyzed by year. Major morbidity included organ and deep surgical site infection, venous thromboembolism, cardiac event, pneumonia, acute renal failure, sepsis, and respiratory failure.


      Of the 28,888 patients identified, 51% were male, the median age was 68, 74.3% underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy, and 25.7% underwent a distal pancreatectomy. Among patients who underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy, there was a significant increase in major morbidity (annual percent change 0.77, P = .012) driven by increases in organ space surgical site infection (annual percent change 3.52, P < .001) and venous thromboembolism (annual percent change 4.72, P = .005). However, there was a decrease in postoperative mortality (annual percent change -4.58, P = .001). For distal pancreatectomy patients, there was no change in rates of overall major morbidity (annual percent change -1.35, P = .08) or mortality (annual percent change -3.21, P = .25).


      Although major morbidity and mortality have not significantly changed for distal pancreatectomy patients, mortality has steadily decreased for patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy, despite an increase in major morbidity. Whether this trend reflects a change in patient selection, an increase in detection of postoperative morbidities and/or an improvement in mitigation of these morbidities warrants further study.
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