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Surg Endosc. 2011 Aug;25(8):2692-8. doi: 10.1007/s00464-011-1631-3. Epub 2011 Apr 13.

How reliable is laparoscopic colorectal surgery compared with laparotomy for octogenarians?

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  • 1Department of Colorectal Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Florida, 2950 Cleveland Clinic Boulevard, Weston, FL 33331, USA.



Due to the current increased longevity in the elderly population and the increased size of that population, major abdominal intervention is more frequently performed among octogenarians. This study aimed to compare the surgical and postoperative outcomes of laparoscopic colorectal resections with those of open surgery in the octogenarian population.


Retrospective analysis based on a prospectively maintained database of octogenarians who underwent laparoscopic or open elective colorectal resections from 2001 to 2008 was performed. Diagnosis, comorbidities, operative data, and early postoperative complications are analyzed in this report.


Colon resection was performed for 199 octogenarians, using laparotomy for 116 patients (group 1) and laparoscopic surgery for 83 patients (group 2). The mean age was 84.3 years for the laparotomy patients and 84.7 years for the laparoscopic patients. The American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) scores was comparable between groups 1 and 2. Colorectal adenoma was the most common indication for surgery in both groups: for 77.6% of the group 1 patients and 54.2% of the group 2 patients. Right colectomy was the most frequently performed operation in group 2: for 57.8% of the group 2 patients and 31% of the group 1 patients (p = 0.0003). Open resections had a higher mean blood loss in both group 1 (286 ml) and group 2 (152 ml) (p = 0.0002), and more patients required intraoperative transfusions (p = 0.005) despite similar operative times. The conversion rate in the laparoscopic group was 25.3%. The patients in the laparoscopic group had less morbidity, both overall and clinically, than the open group (p < 0.05). The median hospital stay was 8 days in group 1 and 6 days in group 2 (p = 0.0065). The rate of major surgical complications was similar in the two groups of patients: 6% in group 1 and 4.8% in group 2. The reoperation rate was 2.6% in group 1 and 3.6% in group 2 (p > 0.05). The mortality rate was 3.4% in group 1 and 2.4% in group 2.


Laparoscopic colorectal resection was effective and safe for octogenarians, with less blood loss and faster postoperative recovery. The morbidity rate is lower than for traditional laparotomy.

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