Answers to Common General Surgery Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about general surgery.

Is frailty something that is considered before an older adult has surgery?

Dr. J. Scott Wilcher discusses whether frailty is considered before an older adult has surgery. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

Is frailty something that is considered before an older adult has surgery?

When we evaluate people for surgery, we try to evaluate everything that's going on with them. We evaluate their heart, their lungs, how well their kidneys work, and frailty is definitely part of the factors that we look at. If you're looking at a relatively minor operation, sometimes it's not quite as important, but a bigger operation, you need to consider that, because a very frail person is going to have worse outcomes and more complications. And you have to really evaluate with the patient whether it's worth it to them to undergo the procedure given their health status.

 

Frailty is a syndrome common in older adults. It has an increased risk of health issues including falls, slowed or limited recovery, and diminished strength and energy, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH).

Frailty, more than age itself, is considered before an older adult has surgery. The frailer an older adult is, the less likely they will be able to recover from surgery.

Talk to your doctor for more information about whether frailty is considered before older adults have surgery.

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Source: James deCaestecker, DO, FACS, Gem City Surgical Associates; Daniel Taylor, MD, FACS, Miami County Surgeons; L. Stewart Lowry, MD, FACS, Miami County Surgeons; Luan Tran, MD, Miami Valley Surgery Associates; J. Scott Wilcher, MD, North Dayton Surgeons; Steven Sutherin, MD, FACS, Miami Valley Surgery Associates

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