Laparoscopic surgery in the old patient: do indications and outcomes differ?
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Scheidbach, H., Schneider, C., Hügel, O. et al. Langenbecks Arch Surg (2005) 390: 328. doi:10.1007/s00423-005-0560-9
- 83 Downloads
Background and aims
In view of the increasing numbers of old and very old people in the general population, we evaluated the short-term outcomes of laparoscopic colorectal surgery for differences between younger and older patients.
A total of 4823 patients with complete data sets from a prospective, clinical observational multicentre study initiated by the “Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery Study Group” were analysed for this investigation.
Of the patients, 909 (18.8%) were older and 3914 (81.2%) younger than 75 years. In the older patient group, malignant disease was a significantly more common indication for surgery. As was expected, the rate of general complications (pneumonia, cardiopulmonary problems, urinary tract infection) was significantly higher in the older patient group with its greater prevalence of preoperative comorbidity, but there no differences in terms of intraoperative or postoperative surgical complications or conversion rate between the groups.
The higher rate of postoperative complications resulting from preoperative comorbidity in the older patients makes it necessary that the indication for surgery be established with care. In view of the advantages of the laparoscopic approach with regard to the postoperative course, the preferential use of laparoscopy for the treatment of colorectal problems requiring surgery in older patients should receive serious consideration.