Prediction of mortality and morbidity in head and neck cancer patients 80 years of age and older undergoing surgery

Heidi E. L'Esperance, Dorina Kallogjeri, Shahnawaz Yousaf, Jay F. Piccirillo, Jason T. Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine postoperative complications and mortality rates in octogenarian and older head and neck cancer patients undergoing ablative surgical resections and to identify factors associated with postoperative morbidity and mortality. Methods: Retrospective cohort study investigating risk factors for 30-day serious complication risk and 90-day mortality risk for patients aged 80 years and older who underwent ablative head and neck oncologic surgical procedures at an academic tertiary care center between 2005 and 2015. Results: Of the 219 patients who underwent 241 surgeries, 74 patients experienced serious complications within 30 days and 25 died within 90 days of surgery. American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score of 4 or greater, and operating room (OR) time ≥6 hours were independently associated with serious complications, whereas age ≥90 years, overall severe comorbidity score, presence of preoperative dysphagia, and large extent of resection were associated with increased risk of death in 90 days. Models to predict risk of 30-day serious complications and 90-day mortality were then developed. Conclusion: Patient and surgical treatment factors predict risk of serious complications and mortality in patients aged 80 years and older undergoing ablative head and neck surgery. Predictive models may guide preoperative discussion with patients. Level of Evidence: 2b. Laryngoscope, 128:871–877, 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-877
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • comorbidity
  • complications
  • elderly
  • frailty
  • head neck surgery
  • morbidity
  • mortality
  • octogenarian

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