Safe laparoscopic surgery in the elderly

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Background The elderly are more prone to complications of surgery because of comorbidity, and they may benefit most from a minimally invasive approach. This study was intended to evaluate the safety of the use of a laparoscopic approach for emergency and elective surgery in elderly patients. Methods From January 2000 to June 2001, all patients over 75 years of age who underwent a procedure that began laparoscopically were included. Physiologic and operative scores according to the POSSUM scoring system were recorded. These were then used to calculate predicted morbidity and mortality by both the POSSUM and P-POSSUM systems. Predicted outcomes were compared with actual outcomes. Results One hundred sixty-two patients with a mean age of 80 years were included; 52% were emergency cases. The overall morbidity was 14.5% and the mortality rate was 1.8%. Fourteen procedures (8.4%), all emergencies, were converted. Both mortality and morbidity rates were lower than the predicted values (P = 0.001 and P = 0.0001, respectively). Conclusions A laparoscopic approach can be used safely in an elderly population undergoing surgery in a daily practice for miscellaneous conditions, whether elective or emergency operations. © 2004 Excerpta Medica Inc. All rights reserved.




Ceulemans, R., Al-Ahdab, N., Leroy, J., Garcia, A., Dutson, E., Rubino, F., … Marescaux, J. (2004). Safe laparoscopic surgery in the elderly. American Journal of Surgery, 187(3), 323–327.

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