Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 71-74

The effect of age on the outcome of esophageal cancer surgery

Department of General Surgery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Ali Aminian
Department of Surgery, Imam Khomeini Hospital, End of Keshavarz Boulevard, Tehran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.49415

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Background: Surgery is still the best way for treatment of esophageal cancer. The increase in life expectancy and the rising incidence of esophageal tumors have led to a great number of elderly candidates for complex surgery. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of advanced age (70 years or more) on the surgical outcome of esophagectomy for esophageal cancer at a single high-volume center. Materials and Methods: Between January 2000 and April 2006, 480 cases with esophageal cancer underwent esophagectomy in the referral cancer institute. One hundred sixty-five patients in the elderly group (70 years old or more) were compared with 315 patients in the younger group (<70 years). All in-hospital morbidity and mortality were studied. Results: The range of age was 38-84 years, with a mean of 58.7. The mean age of the elderly and younger groups was 74 and 53.2, respectively. In the younger group, 70 patients (22.2%) and in the elderly group, 39 patients (23.6%) were complicated ( P 0.72).The most common complications in the two groups were pulmonary complications (9.8% in younger and 10.3% in elderly) ( P 0.87). Rates of anastomotic leakage and cardiac complications were also similar between the two groups. Hospital mortality rates in younger and elderly patients were 2.8% and 3%, respectively. There was no significant difference between the two groups in morbidities and mortality ( P -value > 0.05). Conclusions: With increased experience and care, the outcomes of esophagectomy in elderly patients are comparable to young patients. Advanced age alone is not a contraindication for esophagectomy.

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