What's New and Noteworthy

Surgery not linked to cognitive decline

It has been widely assumed that older adults experience memory loss and other cognitive problems following surgery. A new study has not been able to detect any such connection.

A large number of patients were studied and divided into 3 groups: those who had surgery, those with an illness and those with neither. After comparing the groups over time researchers were not able to detect any evidence of long term decline suggesting that if older people physically recover from surgery they should expect to return to their previous level of mental function.

If you need surgery and you are elderly whether you decide to have surgery or not should depend of surgical risks and benefits, not the possibility of mental decline post surgery.