Major abdominal surgery in octogenarians: should high age affect surgical decision-making?

Jennifer Straatman, Nicole Van der Wielen, Miguel A Cuesta, Elly S M de Lange-de Klerk, Donald L van der Peet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Over the last decades longevity has increased significantly, with more octogenarians undergoing surgery. Here, we assess surgical outcomes after major abdominal surgery in octogenarians.

METHODS: Observational cohort of 874 patients undergoing major abdominal elective surgery between January 2009 and March 2014. Seventy-six octogenarians were propensity matched to 76 younger patients, corrected for sex, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists classification, comorbidity, indication, and type of surgery.

RESULTS: Minor complications were more prevalent in octogenarians (P = .01) and consisted mainly of respiratory complications; progressing to respiratory insufficiency requiring intubation in 28.6%. Preoperative weight loss (odds ratio 3 [1.1 to 8.3]) and upper gastrointestinal surgery (odds ratio 11 [2 to 60]) were associated with minor complications.

CONCLUSIONS: Octogenarians are at increased risk of minor complications after major abdominal surgery. Major complication rates were similar, indicating the importance of preoperative assessment and standardized surgical techniques. Taking into account preoperative morbidities and type of surgery and techniques. Implementation of quality control algorithms may further improve outcomes in octogenarians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-895
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


  • Journal Article

Cite this