Background: Elderly patients older than the age of 75 constitute 13% of the population that undergoes cardiac surgery at our institution and represent the fastest growing population in Ontario. We have witnessed an increasing proportion of elderly patients being referred for repeat surgical intervention for valvular heart disease. We determined the perioperative and long-term outcomes in elderly patients undergoing redo cardiac valve surgery.
Methods: A retrospective review of our institutional database identified 112 patients aged 75 years or older (mean age, 78 +/- 3 years; range, 75 to 89 years) who underwent redo valve surgery between 1990 and 2004. All patients presented with a previous surgical intervention on the valve of interest. The mean follow-up was 5 +/- 4 years and was 100% complete.
Results: Eighty-eight patients (79%) had isolated valve surgery at their primary operation whereas 24 patients (21%) had concomitant coronary artery bypass grafting at the time of their initial valve surgery. At reoperation, 74 patients (66%) underwent single valve surgery (40 aortic valve, 34 mitral valve), 33 patients (29.5%) required double valve surgery, and 5 patients (4.5%) had triple valve surgery. Thirty-three patients (29.5%) required concomitant coronary artery bypass grafting, among whom 14 patients had a previous coronary artery bypass graft surgery. There were 12 operative (10.7%) and 47 late deaths (42%). Cardiovascular events were the cause of death in 32 patients (54% of all deaths). Overall survival at 5 years was 67% +/- 5%. The freedom from valve-related mortality and morbidity was 86% +/- 4% at 5 years. Mean intensive care eunit stay was 3.7 +/- 4.5 days, and postoperative hospital stay was 15 +/- 12 days.
Conclusions: Redo valvular surgery in an elderly cohort can be performed with acceptable morbidity and mortality. Although 5-year survival is lower than that observed with a younger patient population, it is still likely higher than expected survival without surgical intervention. Despite increased resource utilization, elderly patients should be offered redo surgical intervention for valvular heart disease.