Indexed on: 17 Jan '08Published on: 17 Jan '08Published in: Diseases of the Colon & Rectum
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of laparoscopic colorectal resection on short-term postoperative outcome in elderly patients.A series of 535 patients with colorectal disease who had been randomly assigned to laparoscopic (n=268) or open (n=267) resection was analyzed. A total of 201 patients (37.6 percent) were elderly (aged 70 years or older) and 334 patients (62.4 percent) were younger than aged 70 years. Follow-up for postoperative morbidity was performed for 30 days after hospital discharge.Elderly patients had a higher American Society of Anesthesiologists score compared with younger patients in both the laparoscopic and open groups (P=0.0001). In the open group, elderly patients had higher morbidity rate (37.5 vs. 23.9 percent; P=0.02) and longer length of hospital stay (13 vs. 10.6; P=0.007) compared with younger patients. In the laparoscopic group, morbidity rate (20.2 vs. 15.1 percent) and length of hospital stay (9.5 vs. 9.1) were similar in elderly and younger patients. In elderly patients, the laparoscopy-reduced morbidity rate (20.2 vs. 37.5 percent; P=0.01) and length of hospital stay (9.5 vs. 13; P=0.001) compared to the open approach. In younger patients, the advantages of the laparoscopic approach on morbidity rate (15.1 vs. 23.9 percent; P=0.06) and length of stay (9.1 vs. 10.6; P=0.004) were less pronounced.Laparoscopy improved short-term postoperative outcome more in elderly than in younger patients. Advanced age was associated with higher morbidity and longer length of stay only in patients who underwent open colorectal surgery.