Preoperative predictors for complications after pancreaticoduodenectomy: Impact of BMI and body fat distribution

Michael G. House, Yuman Fong, Dean J. Arnaoutakis, Rohit Sharma, Corinne B. Winston, Mladjan Protic, Mithat Gonen, Sara H. Olson, Robert C. Kurtz, Murray F. Brennan, Peter J. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

190 Scopus citations


Background The purpose of this study was to examine the preoperative patient and radiographic factors that are associated with operative morbidity after pancreaticoduodenectomy. Material and Methods Patient characteristics and preoperative radiographic findings and their association with postoperative complications after pancreaticoduodenectomy were analyzed for 356 patients with pancreatic Aden carcinoma who underwent resection between 2000 and 2005.Results Postoperative complications developed in 135 patients (38%). The most common complications were pancreatic fistula/abscess (15%), wound infection (14%), and delayed gastric emptying (4%). On multivariate analysis, the only preoperative radiographic factors associated with having any postoperative complication were the absence of pancreatic atrophy and the extent of central obesity determined by the thickness of retro renal visceral fat (VF). Complications occurred in 51% of patients with VF≥2 cm, compared to 31% of patients with VF<2 cm, p<0.001. Postoperatively, pancreatic fistula developed in 24% of patients with VF≥2 cm and in only 10% of patients with VF<2 cm, p=0.01. Wound infections occurred in 21% of the patients with body mass index greater than or equal to 30 kg/m 2 compared to 12% of the no obese patients, p=0.03.Conclusions Generalized obesity is associated with postoperative wound infections after pancreaticoduodenectomy. The degree of visceral fat on preoperative cross-sectional imaging is associated with significantly higher rates of overall complications and pancreatic fistula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-278
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008



  • Complications
  • Obesity
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

House, M. G., Fong, Y., Arnaoutakis, D. J., Sharma, R., Winston, C. B., Protic, M., Gonen, M., Olson, S. H., Kurtz, R. C., Brennan, M. F., & Allen, P. J. (2008). Preoperative predictors for complications after pancreaticoduodenectomy: Impact of BMI and body fat distribution. Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, 12(2), 270-278.