Do elderly patients have the most to gain from laparoscopic surgery?

Academic Article


  • Populations are aging worldwide, people are living longer, and the surgical needs of elderly patients are rising. Laparoscopic techniques have become more common with improved training, surgeon skill and evidence of improved outcomes. Benefits of laparoscopy include decreased blood loss, postoperative pain, and hospital length of stay; improved mobilization, quicker return to normal activity; and fewer pulmonary, thrombotic, and abdominal wall complications. Indeed, for many common pathologies laparoscopy has become the gold standard, unless contraindicated. It has been questioned as to whether elderly patients can reap the same benefits from laparoscopic surgery. The concern in elderly patients is that physiologic demands may outweigh the benefit seen in younger patients. This question stems from concerns related to longer operative times, increased technical challenge, as well as the impact of physiologic demands of pneumoperitoneum and patient positioning. However, with anesthesia and adequate perioperative cardiac care, there is no evidence that these factors lead to worse clinical outcomes in elderly patients. In contrast, perhaps elderly patients - with increased prevalence of multi-morbidity, geriatric syndromes and diminished physiologic reserve - have the most to gain from a laparoscopic approach.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Chesney T; Acuna SA
  • Start Page

  • 321
  • End Page

  • 323
  • Volume

  • 4
  • Issue

  • 3