Outcome following colon surgery in the octagenarian

Jeffrey S. Bender, Thomas H. Magnuson, Michael E. Zenilman, Melissa M. Smith-Meek, Lloyd E. Ratner, Calvin E. Jones, Gardner W. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The results of colon surgery in all individuals aged 80 years or greater at one teaching institution during the 1987-1993 time period were reviewed. Sixty patients, ranging in age from 80 to 92 years, underwent 41 elective operations and 21 emergency procedures. Emergency procedures resulted in death or a major complication in over one-half of patients, and only six were ultimately able to return home. Conversely, elective procedures were relatively well tolerated, and 31 of 37 survivors returned immediately to independent living (P = 0.006). Mortality was 33.3 per cent in emergency cases versus 9.8 per cent in elective operations (P < 0.03). The occurrence of a postoperative complication increased the length of stay by an average of 12 days. These data suggest that elective colon surgery in the elderly produces results little different from the population at large. Conversely, emergency operations are associated with a high morbidity and mortality rate. Age alone should not be a determining factor in who undergoes an elective colon operation. Greater efforts should be made to screen elderly individuals to limit emergency surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-279
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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