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Journal of the Korean Geriatrics Society 2003;7(3):214-221.
Published online September 30, 2003.
A Clinical Analysis of Surgery in the Elderly Patients with Acute Abdomen
Yun Seung Choi, Won Hong Kim, Yang Hee Kim, Sun Keun Choi, Yoon Seok Hur, Keon Young Lee, Sei Joong Kim, Seung Ik Ahn, Kee Chun Hong, Ze Hong Woo, Seok Hwan Shin
급성 복증으로 수술을 시행한 노인 환자들에 대한 임상적 분석
In surgical treatment for the elderly patients with the acute abdomen, the high morbidity and mortality rate become a serious problem because of the difficulty of the initial diagnosis. This study, therefore, aims at analyzing the clinical presentation of the elderly patients with the acute abdomen in order to reduce the high mortality rate for the elderly patients.
This study included 114 elderly patients who underwent the emergency operation due to the acute abdomen from May 2000 to May 2002. The age of the elderly patients was over 65 years old. The clinical characteristics of these patients were investigated retrospectively in this study.
The most two common diseases were the acute appendicitis(25.4%) and the acute cholecystitis (21.9%) for the elderly patients. Then comes the intestinal obstruction, the gastrointestinal cancer, the colonic diverticulitis, and the gastrointestinal vascular disease in that order. The accuracy of the initial diagnosis was 79%, but the correlation between the accuracy and age significantly decreased as the age of the elderly patients increased. The postoperative complication rate was 26.3%, and the most common cause of the complications was the postoperative infection. The postoperative mortality rate was 11.4%, and the common causes of the death were the sepsis(61.5%), the postoperative bleeding, the acute renal failure, and the cardiovascular disease in order of frequency. It was found that there was a significant correlation between the complication rate and old age(p=0.021). In addition, there was a significant correla- tion between the mortality rate and old age p=0.012).
In this study, it was found that the acute appendicitis and the cholecystitis were the common diseases for the elderly patients with the acute abdomen. The accuracy of the initial diagnosis was 79%; however, it decreased with the aging process. For aged people, that caused the increase of the complication and the mortality rate. It thus appears that elderly patients with the acute abdomen should be treated carefully and systematically.
Key Words: Elderly Patients, Acute abdomen, Emergency operation

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