Background. Obstructive jaundice is a common presenting symptom among patients with pancreatic cancer. While benefits of preoperative biliary drainage have been suggested by previous studies, recent evidence has shown no significant improvements of preoperative biliary drainage on the postoperative outcome but rather an increase of complications. There is no clear consensus on whether to treat malignant obstructive jaundice with preoperative biliary drainage prior to operative intervention or to proceed directly to resection. Thus, our aim was to elucidate the impact of preoperative biliary drainage of obstructive jaundice due to malignant pancreatic head tumors on postoperative morbidity and mortality.