Surgery rates fall in elders, improved screening could also be reason


Despite an aging population and safer surgical procedures, the frequency of abdominal surgery is decreasing among older adults particularly in those aged 85 or more years, consistent with researchers from the University of Chicago Medicine.

Investigators analyzed data from 2002 to 2014 and located a stark decrease within the number of those surgeries overall, which they attributed to improvements in medical treatments and cancer screening for older adults. What’s more, the study found that quite half adults over age 85 would require some post-acute care after a surgery .

This suggests we’re recuperating at determining who would benefit most from a surgery, and also possibly that we’ve developed better and fewer invasive alternative treatments, said first author Daniel Rubin, M.D., professor of anesthesia and important care.

He and his colleagues were surprised to seek out certain exceptions. Those seemed to be driven by an outsized shift faraway from abdominal surgeries in rural and non-teaching urban hospitals. Instead, the frequency of those procedures performed on older adults increased in urban medical centers and teaching hospitals. This finding could also be thanks to consolidated, increased specialization in those institutions, the authors wrote.

The findings may help older adults and their caregivers make decisions about whether to undergo surgery, Rubin said.

It’s important for patients and their families to know that these surgeries can cause a challenging recovery trajectory for older adults, albeit the surgery goes well, he said.

Older adults actually need to urge back to their normal life after an operation, but recovery are often difficult, and therefore the rates at which older adults require post-acute care like time during a rehabilitation facility or long-term care is high, Rubin concluded

These results can help inform the choices made by patients and providers on whether or not a surgery is that the right choice for them.

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