Gastric cancer surgery is a common operation in East Asia, such as Korea and Japan, and there has been a significant increase in the need for this procedure due to the aging population. As a result, surgery for the treatment of gastric cancer for elderly patients is expected to increase. This study examined the effect of old age on gastric cancer surgery, and analyzed the operative risk factors for elderly patients.
Materials and Methods
From November 2008 to August 2010, 590 patients, who underwent a curative resection for gastric cancers, were enrolled. Patients who underwent palliative or emergency surgery were excluded. A retrospective analysis of the correlation between surgical outcomes and age was performed. The elderly were defined as patients who were over the age of 65 years.
The mean age of all patients was 58.3 years, and complications occurred in 87 cases (14.7%). The most common complication was wound infection and severe complications requiring surgical, endoscopic, or radiologic intervention developed in 52 cases (8.8%). The rate of complications increased with increasing age of the patients. Univariate analysis revealed age, comorbidity, extent of resection, operation time, and combined resection to be associated with surgical complications. In particular, age over 75 years old, operation time, and comorbidity were predictive factors in multivariate analysis. In the elderly, only comorbidity was associated with surgical complications.
The patients' age is the most important factor for predicting surgical complications. Surgeons should pay an attention to the performance of gastric cancer surgery on elderly patients. In particular, it must be performed carefully for elderly patients with a comorbidity.