Perioperative management of pancreatic and periampullary cancer poses a considerable challenge to the pancreatic surgeon, anesthesiologist, and the intensive care team. The preoperative surgical evaluation of a pancreatic lesion aims to define the nature of the lesion (malignant or benign), stage the tumor, and to determine resectability or other non-surgical treatment options. Patients are often elderly and may have significant comorbidities and malnutrition. Obstructive jaundice may lead to coagulopathy, infection, renal dysfunction, and adverse outcomes. Routine preoperative biliary drainage can result in higher complication rates, and metal stents may be preferred over plastic stents in selected patients with resectable disease. Judicious use of antibiotics and maintaining fluid volume preoperatively can reduce the incidence of infection and renal dysfunction, respectively. Perioperative fluid therapy with hemodynamic optimization using minimally invasive monitoring may help improve outcomes. Careful patient selection, appropriate preoperative evaluation and optimization can greatly contribute to a favorable outcome after major pancreatic resections.