This article provides an overview of the current role of laparoscopic surgery in older patients. A retrospective review and analysis of the recent English-language literature on laparoscopic procedures with special attention devoted to those articles focused on geriatric patients was performed. Laparoscopic surgery has rapidly become the fastest-growing discipline within the surgical arena and new applications for laparoscopy continue to be reported. The primary benefits to patients of these developments are smaller scars, decreased postoperative pain, and more-rapid return to normal activity. As society ages, more older patients will present with pathology amenable to laparoscopic intervention. Several aspects of laparoscopy impose unique physiologic stresses and, as such, may alter surgical risk to the geriatric patient. In addition, older patients often have delayed surgical interventions because of more-conservative medical management or unusual symptomatology, which may further complicate the laparoscopic approach. These limitations may alter the risk-to-benefit ratio of laparoscopic versus open procedures. Despite this lack of elucidation of full-risk profiles, laparoscopic approaches should be considered regardless of a patient's age.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology