Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive and highly lethal malignancy. Surgical resection is a modest tool, but it provides the only potential for curative therapy and often prolongs survival. This article reviews the progress made on both local and national levels towards an era of safer pancreatic surgery, while discussing both perioperative outcomes and long-term survival after resection. J. Surg. Oncol. 2013;107:97–103. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.