Recently there has been a significant increase in age in the United States. It is necessary to better understand the physiological and surgical needs of these patients in order to optimize outcomes. The vast majority of procedures performed in adult patients are low-risk operations, such as laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Our aim is to investigate the outcomes, including length of stay, morbidity, mortality, re-admission and discharge disposition of the elderly population (>80) undergoing low-risk operations in our tertiary community hospital.
A retrospective chart review was done at a tertiary community hospital. The time frame utilized was 2011-2015. Patients were excluded only on the basis of their age (< 80) at the time of operation.
There were a total of 30 patients who underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy from 2011 to 2015. 21 patients (70%) were female and 9 (30%) were male. No patients were converted to an open procedure. The average age was 86.4 years and average ASA classification prior to surgery was 2.88. Higher ASA class, specifically those that were class III/IV were more likely to have an increased length of stay that was statistically significant. Overall age greater than 80 was an independent risk factor for transfer to a higher level of care upon discharge (SNF, LTAC, etc.), a surrogate marker for physical decompensation following surgery.
Routine surgery, such as the laparoscopic cholecystectomy, effects the elderly population in a more substantial way, and early recognition coupled with increased education for physicians regarding geriatric patients can help to reduce length of stay, morbidity, and overall physical and mental deconditioning.