Visc Med 2017 Aug 11;33(4):267-274. Epub 2017 Aug 11.
Department of Anesthesiology and Operative Intensive Care Medicine (CCM, CVK), Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.
Introduction: Elderly patients suffering from gastrointestinal malignancies are particularly prone to perioperative complications. Elderly patients often present with reduced physiological reserves, and comorbidities can limit treatment options and promote complications. Surgeons and anesthesiologists must be aware of strategies required to deal with this vulnerable subgroup.
Methods: We provide a brief review of current and emerging perioperative strategies for the treatment of elderly patients with gastrointestinal malignancies and frequent comorbidities.
Results: Especially in combination with advanced age, the effects of malignancies can be devastating, bringing new health challenges, exacerbating preexisting conditions, and exerting severe psychological strain. An interdisciplinary assessment and process planning provide an ideal setting to identify and prevent potential complications, especially in regards to frailty and cardiovascular risk. In addition, important perioperative considerations are presented, such as malnutrition, fasting, intraoperative neuromonitoring, and hemodynamic control, as well as postoperative early mobilization, pain, and delirium management.
Conclusion: The decisions and interventions made in the perioperative stage can positively influence many intra- and postoperative factors, significantly improving the chances of successful treatment of elderly cancer patients. Appropriate management can help prevent or mitigate complications, secure a quick recovery, and improve short- and long-term outcomes.