New York Surgeon Discusses Benefits of Laparoscopy for Seniors

Posted on: October 10, 2013

The Benefits of Laparoscopy are Particularly Apparent for Seniors

by Jerald Wishner, MD, FACS, FASCRS, Co-Director of the Institute for Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery at NWH.

Wishner,(Jerald Wishner, MD)Laparoscopic surgery offers many advantages when compared to similar procedures performed through a large open incision. Patients undergoing a laparoscopic surgery experience:

  • less pain
  • earlier return of intestinal function
  • earlier ambulation
  • shorter hospitals stays
  • earlier return to their baseline activities

These advantages can be particularly important to the elderly.

The improvement in mobility and reduction in post-operative pain allows them to leave the hospital sooner and without assistance making them less likely to require discharge to a nursing home. In addition early ambulation and the shorter hospital stay reduces the risk of post-operative complications such as pneumonia and venous thrombosis which would increase the need for longer term care in a nursing home.

In a recent study, the authors correctly note that while survival data is critical for colorectal cancer patients quality of life measures should not be overlooked.  We often look at return to work data for younger patients but the ability to resume normal activity and independence and return directly home sooner is equally important in elderly patients.

Editor’s Note:  Jerald Wishner, MD, FACS, FASCRS, is co-director of the Institute for Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Northern Westchester. Read more about this leading-edge Westchester surgery here.