Keyhole kidney surgery OK for eldest elderly
NEW YORK,18 april 2009 – Operations on the kidney can be performed safely via laparoscopy in elderly patients, even those older than 80 years of age, investigators report.
Laparoscopic operations are performed with special instruments inserted through two or three small incisions, and are commonly called keyhole surgeries.
Dr. Thomas J. Guzzo of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Maryland, and associates reviewed data on 115 patients, ranging in age from 75 to 91 years, who had undergone laparoscopic kidney operations. Fifty-one of the patients were over 80 years old.
Complications occurred in 22 patients (19 percent); 6 of these patients were over 80, giving a complication rate of 12 percent in this age group, the team reports in the medical journal Urology.
Blood transfusions were needed for just under 10 percent of the whole group and for the 80-plus patients. Similarly, the length of stay was 4 days for all the patients taken together and for those 80 and up.
"Our data support the safety and feasibility of laparoscopic renal procedures in elderly patients," Guzzo's team writes. "Furthermore, this safety extends to patients of advanced age."
They conclude, "Our data add to the increasing body of evidence that a patient's age should not be an exclusionary factor when contemplating laparoscopic renal surgery."
SOURCE: Urology, March 2009.