Background Minimally invasive pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) remains one of the most challenging abdominal procedures and its application in the elderly population is poorly reported in the literature so far. The goal of this study was to demonstrate that robot-assisted PD can be safely performed in patients aged 70 years and older. Methods Forty-one consecutive robot-assisted PD performed between April 2007 and January 2010 were prospectively entered in a dedicated database. Patients were stratified into two groups: group 1, aged C70 years (n = 15, 36.6%); and group 2, aged<70 years (n = 26, 63.4%). The data were reviewed retrospectively. Results Indications for surgery and patient characteristics were the same in both groups, with the exception of age. There was no statistical difference in terms of operative time (P = 0.376), blood loss (P = 0.989), conversion rate (P = 0.52), mortality (P = 0.36), or overall morbidity rate (P = 0.74). The mean hospital stay was 14.3 days in group 1 and 11.2 days in group 2. This was not statistically significant (P = 0.136). Conclusions Robot-assisted pancreaticoduodenectomy can be performed safely in elderly patients with comparable mortality, morbidity, and outcomes compared with a younger population. Age alone should not be a contraindication for robotic pancreatic resection.
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