Because of the increase in the geriatric population, an increasing number of elderly patients are being treated for colorectal cancer.
Dr Evan Ong and colleagues from New York, USA evaluated perioperative morbidity and mortality in this population.
|The morbidity rate was 21%|
|American Journal of Surgery|
The team performed a retrospective chart review for patients 80 years of age or older who underwent surgery for colorectal cancer between 1993 and 2006.
The researchers identified 90 patients, with a median age of 84 years.
More than 90% presented with symptoms; the remaining were diagnosed by screening colonoscopy.
Emergent surgery was required in 10%.
The team found the morbidity rate was 21%, and the overall 30-day mortality rate was 1%.
The research team found that morbidity was higher in patients who required surgery emergently.
Dr Ong's team concluded, "Despite advanced age, the majority of patients in this study did well."
"Postoperative morbidity was higher than in the general population, but we believe it was acceptably low in most patients."
"Colorectal surgery appears to be safe in most elderly patients."