As we age, deteriorating abdominal muscle wall can increase the probability of a hernia. This is the reason why hernia surgery in elderly patients is always at a high demand.
The aging population is increasing at a fast pacing speed every year. This has led to a significant challenge to health practitioners — especially hernia surgery in elderly patients which require more complex examinations.
Moreover, almost all of the diseases related to aging, such as cancer, heart disease, hernias, and kidney problems, require surgery.
What causing hernia surgery in elderly patients growing in a significant number?
According to an article published on NCBI, the reports of conducted hernia surgery in the UK with those aged over 65 years are accounted for 16%.
As we know, an abdominal hernia is a condition when the organs inside the abdominal cavity penetrate out though weakened abdominal muscle wall.
Another example such as inguinal hernias develops when part of the intestine penetrate the weakened abdominal muscles due to aging.
Accumulated strenuous physical activity during productive age or daily smoking could increase the probability of a hernia later in life.
Things to consider when performing a hernia surgery for elderly
Before conducting an operation, a surgeon may ask for an agreement to implement a preoperative analysis.
Although this examination is an optional factor solely by the age, the result of the test is required to determine the actual presence of the disease.
Other than that, the preoperative test mainly to conclude the type of surgical procedure, severity of the disease, type of the surgical mesh, and optimize the patients before performing a surgery.
The day before surgery, the surgeon may ask the patient to an appointment related to the anesthesia. However, it depends on the type of surgery and the patient’s past condition.
When performing anesthesia, pain relief substances may be injected with a syringe by intravenous directly into the bloodstream, inhaled, or oral medication.
General anesthesia is usually used in many surgeries which can get patient to a reversible loss of consciousness and block the pain sensation for surgeons to operate without restraint.
However, general anesthesia also has side effects such as; temporary confusion and memory loss, although this is more common in the elderly.
In some conditions, regional and local anesthetics may be suitable and can offer exceptional pain relief results.
Compared to other forms of pain relief, local anesthetic also has a good outcome and lowering hospitalization time.
Local anesthetic hernia surgery in elderly patients is considered to be safe and effective.
Other disease complication
Hernia surgery in elderly patients may have complicated things related to other health issues in the presence.
Because surgeons are dealing with patients over 60, they may have pre-existed chronic disease.
Medical studies examined that obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure might increase mortality rate and complication rate in the postoperative period.
How safe is hernia surgery in elderly patients?
Most of the elderly patients often have complex medical problems. This makes the surgeon considering numerous things.
But, with well-recognized preoperative assessment, age should not be a restriction.
For this reason, open inguinal hernia surgery in elderly patients under local anesthetic or general anesthetic along with functional preoperative assessment can be safely treated.
Research shows that the mortality rate of hernia surgery in elderly patients is sufficiently low. No matter what of the type of the anesthetic is used.
Therefore, they claim that one type of anesthesia is safer than another are unproven and should not influence decision making.
Is hernia surgery in elderly patients can be performed as day surgery?
Yes, it is possible. When every condition is examined, surgery may be planned in an ambulatory surgery center, as known as day surgery.
However, hernia surgery procedures may need to be performed in a hospital if there are any other complications.
If the patients can do five necessary activities such as; eating, dressing, using the bathroom, walking, and bathing, they are suitable for day surgery.
An abdominal hernia in elderly mainly caused by deteriorating or weakened abdominal muscle wall.
With high-quality preoperative assessment, carefully planned anesthetic, and patient selection, hernia surgery in elderly patients without significant complication can be safely treated.
Additionally, laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair is a safe and efficient technique in elderly patients.
Under suitable choice of anesthetic and practical application, it can achieve an excellent clinical outcome.
Outpatients can be the right choice in elderly patients who requiring inguinal hernia repair with ambulatory surgery or day surgery.
Research says that the hernia repair mortality rate in elderly is adequately low and even there were no mortalities or significant complications in the elderly undergoing inguinal hernia repair as outpatients.
- NCBI: Outpatient repair for inguinal hernia in elderly patients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25159543
- National Institutes of Health: Laparoscopic and open inguinal hernia repair. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5577406/