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Article
June 1989

Results of Operative Treatment of Gastrointestinal Tract Tumors in Patients Over 80 Years of Age

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University Hospital, Geneva.

Arch Surg. 1989;124(6):662-664. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410060024004
Abstract

• Between 1981 and 1986, 140 patients over 80 years of age were operated on for a gastrointestinal tract tumor in our service. There were 24 gastric, one small-bowel, 91 colonic, and 24 rectal cancers. Only 40% of the patients were preoperatively free of any systemic disorder other than tumor. We performed surgical procedures with a curative intent for 90 (64%) of them. Our mean overall postoperative mortality was 17%, but this rate could be decreased by performing elective operations on well-prepared patients. Over 80% of the deaths were related to systemic organ failures. Eighty-three percent of the survivors (96 patients) returned to their homes; 82% (94 patients) had normal activities for their age. The actuarial survival curve showed a 50% survival rate at three years, all tumoral stages included. These results support the view that surgery is a safe, valid option in the face of gastrointestinal tract tumors in the elderly.

(Arch Surg 1989;124:662-664)

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