Seniors Get Fewer Surgical Options
Cheaper, safer, less-invasive surgery is offered less often to older adults than it is to younger people, according to a study. Minimally invasive surgery involves the use of small instruments inserted though a small opening—the nose, mouth, or a tiny cut in the body. The approach is used for several procedures, including hysterectomies and surgeries for weight loss, colon problems, and hernias. A study of over 200,000 Medicare beneficiaries found that the advantages of minimally invasive surgery—including fewer complications, shorter hospital stays, and lower costs—apply to older adults. But older people are offered these procedures less often than younger people, possibly due to outdated information about certain risks. If you’re facing surgery, ask your surgeon if a minimally invasive procedure is possible for you. If the answer is no, consider seeking a second opinion.
Source: Surgical Endoscopy, published online Feb. 26, 2018