Robotic approach mitigates the effect of major complications on survival after pancreaticoduodenectomy for periampullary cancer

Thiagarajan Meyyappan, Greg C. Wilson, Herbert J. Zeh, Melissa E. Hogg, Kenneth K. Lee, Amer H. Zureikat, Alessandro Paniccia

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Background: Major complications (MCs) after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) are a known independent predictor of worse oncologic outcomes. There are limited data on the effect of major complications on long-term outcomes after robotic PD (RPD). The aim of this study is to compare the effect of MC on overall (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) after RPD and open PD (OPD). Methods: This is a single-center, retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database of all patients undergoing PD for periampullary cancer including ampullary adenocarcinoma, distal cholangiocarcinoma, and duodenal carcinoma. Univariate analysis was performed on all clinical, pathologic, and treatment factors. MCs were defined as Clavien-Dindo ≥ grade 3. Kaplan–Maier survival analysis was performed with log-rank test for group comparison. Multivariable Cox regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with overall survival (OS) in both the OPD and RPD groups. Results: A total of 190 patients with ampullary carcinoma (n = 98), cholangiocarcinoma (n = 55), and duodenal adenocarcinoma (n = 37) were examined over the study period with 61.1% (n = 116) undergoing RPD and 38.9% (n = 74) undergoing OPD. There was no significant difference in patient demographics between the RPD and OPD cohorts. Furthermore, R0 resection rates, tumor size, and lymph node involvement were similar between the RPD and OPD cohorts. OPD had higher rate of MC (40.5% vs 28.3% in RPD, p = 0.011) including clinically relevant pancreatic fistula (25.7% vs 8.6%, p = 0.001) and wound infection (34.5% vs 13.8%, p < 0.001). MCs were associated with a lower OS in the OPD cohort (HR = 2.18, 95%CI 1.0–4.55, p = 0.038). MCs were not associated with OS in the RPD cohort (HR = 1.55, 95%CI 0.87–2.76, p = 0.14). Conclusion: MCs are associated with worse patient outcomes after OPD but not after RPD. Robotic approach mitigates and possibly abrogates the negative effects of MCs on patient outcomes after PD for malignancy and is associated with improved adjuvant chemotherapy completion rates. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSurgical endoscopy
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy
  • Periampullary cancer
  • Robotics
  • Whipple

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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