Older Patients Seeking Surgery
A recent report in the print media indicated that active senior citizens are choosing to have surgery that once would have seemed extreme in patients in their age group.
This includes such things as spine surgery, total hip and knee replacements and cardiac surgery. There is a very definite noticeable trend of increased surgery among the elderly.
At one time joint replacement surgery for patients older than 75 was thought to be contraindicated, but there was little hard evidence on the risks and benefits of surgery for older people.
People over age 65 account for 12% of the U.S. population, but they undergo 40% of the surgeries performed.
I have noticed in my own practice for a number of years that the number of patients who seek joint replacements has definitely increased upward as far as age is concerned.
If the person is basically healthy and can be cleared for surgery by their internist, then in most cases I am willing to go ahead with the surgery if the person understands the risks involved.