BACKGROUND: An enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) program aims to reduce the stress response to surgery and thereby accelerate recovery. It is unclear whether these programs can be safely implemented for elderly patients, especially in highly complex surgery such as pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD). The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of an ERAS program in elderly patients undergoing PD. METHODS: Implementation of the ERAS protocol was studied prospectively in a consecutive series of patients undergoing PD between January 2009 and August 2013. Patients were divided into two groups: </= 65 years and >/= 70 years. Endpoints were length of stay (LOS), readmissions, morbidity, mortality, and compliance with ERAS targets. RESULTS: Of a total of 110 patients, 55 were </= 65 years (median 57) and 55 >/= 70 years (median 77). Median LOS was 14 days in both groups. In patients without complications median LOS was 9 days. Both mortality and readmissions did not differ between groups (mortality n = 3 (5.5 %) in younger versus n = 6 (10.9 %) in older patients, p = 0.49, readmissions: n = 11 (20 %) versus n = 7 (12.7 %), p = 0.44). CT-drainage and relaparotomy-rates were not different between groups, nor was overall morbidity (n = 31 (56.3 %) in the older versus n = 35 (63.3 %) in the younger group, p = 0.44). There were no differences in compliance with elements of the ERAS protocol between groups. CONCLUSION: An ERAS program seems feasible and safe for patients >/= 70 years of age undergoing PD.