PMID: 5914834Aug 6, 1966

Thoracic surgery in the elderly

Canadian Medical Association Journal
J L Wellington, R B Lynn

Abstract

With careful attention to details of preoperative, operative and postoperative care, intrathoracic procedures can be carried out safely in the elderly patient. The authors describe such procedures in 111 patients over 60 years of age who presented with a wide variety of primary diseases. Bronchogenic carcinoma, present in 48 patients, was the commonest. One-third of the total group had significant associated disease, usually in the form of coronary artery or chronic respiratory disease. The overall mortality rate was 6.3%.Before surgery, all patients were prophylactically digitalized regardless of their cardiac status. Blood volume estimations were determined in those with excessive weight loss. At operation, measurement of central venous pressure was found to be the best guide to blood replacement.Retention of bronchial secretions was the commonest postoperative complication. This problem can be minimized with intensive chest physiotherapy, adequate hydration, minimal doses of analgesic agents and, when indicated, early tracheostomy.

Related Concepts

Cardiovascular Diseases
Esophageal Diseases
Lung Diseases
Malignant Neoplasm of Lung
Postoperative Complications

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