Indexed on: 14 Aug '10Published on: 14 Aug '10Published in: Techniques in coloproctology
Several studies have addressed the issue of the feasibility of laparoscopic colorectal surgery in elderly patients, usually by choosing an arbitrary cut-off age limit, and retrospectively evaluating patient outcomes. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of age on the outcome of laparoscopic colorectal surgery for cancer in a single department, by comparing younger and older patients, matched by ASA score and type of operation.The perioperative outcome of patients ≥75 years old who underwent laparoscopic colorectal surgery for cancer between June 2005 and January 2009 were compared with findings in younger patients, matched by ASA score and type of operation.The study included 100 patients, fifty <75 years old (Group A) and fifty ≥75 (Group B) years old. There were 18 right hemicolectomies, 16 left hemicolectomies, 4 anterior resections, 9 low anterior resections, 2 Miles' operations and 1 segmental resection in each group. We observed a significantly higher overall morbidity rate among elderly patients than among younger patients (24 vs. 8%).Short-term results after laparoscopic colorectal surgery for cancer in patients ≥75 years old reveal that they have higher postoperative risk compared to their younger counterparts, even when matched by ASA score and type of operation. It suggests that although advanced age, per se, is not a contraindication, it is a risk for patients who undergo laparoscopic colorectal surgery for cancer. This surgery in elderly patients should be performed by experienced surgeons in specialized centers to keep postoperative risk to a minimum.