Updated in 8/22/2010 6:29:39 PM      Viewed: 196 times      (Journal Article)
Colorectal disease : the official journal of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland 8 (8): 657-62 (2006)

Safety of bowel resection for colorectal surgical emergency in the elderly.

T E Pavlidis , G Marakis , K Ballas , S Rafailidis , K Psarras , D Pissas , K Papanicolaou , A Sakantamis
OBJECTIVE: Colorectal emergency requiring radical surgery is becoming increasingly frequent in the elderly and problems remain as regards the best management policy. Our long-time experience is presented in this study. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In the last 23 years, 105 elderly patients, aged > or = 65 years, with colorectal disease underwent an emergency operation in our Surgical Department. Forty-five patients (mean age 72 years) had benign disease and 60 patients (mean age 76.5 years) colorectal carcinoma. RESULTS: The carcinoma was located in the left colon (68%), right colon (18%) and rectum (14%). Mostly, patients with malignant cancer presented with obstructive ileus, and patients with benign tumours with perforation and peritonitis, with a predominance of diverticulitis. A resection operation either with primary anastomosis or Hartmann's procedure was performed in 75% of cases; in the rest, only palliation was resorted to. Forty-three percent of the patients with colorectal cancer emergency were > or = 80 years of age. The mean morbidity was 25% and mortality 17%, which make up to 33% and 26.6% for benign disease, and 20% and 10% for malignant cancer, respectively. The mortality rate was higher in patients with perforation than those with obstruction. CONCLUSION: Advanced age is not a contraindication to radical surgery in case of colorectal emergency in the elderly. In the majority, a resection operation is feasible. In high-risk patients, colostomy is a life-saving alternative.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-1318.2006.00993.x      ISSN: 1462-8910