Background: In recent years, laparoscopic liver resection has elicited growing attention as a safe procedure for various forms of hepatic resection. In the context of an aging population, this study aims to evaluate outcomes in elderly patients (>70 y) compared with younger patients (≤70 y).
Methods: All consecutive patients undergoing minimally invasive liver resections between December 2013 and January 2018 at the Department of Surgery, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, were included in this analysis. Patients' characteristics, such as body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists classification, as well as underlying liver disease and function, were examined and the perioperative outcomes of patients aged >70 y (group 1; G1) contrasted with patients aged ≤ 70 y (group 2; G2).
Results: Of 250 patients, 67 were >70 y old (G1) and 183 were ≤70 y old (G2). Patients in G1 were characterized by a higher body mass index (27.6 kg/m2versus 24.9 kg/m2; P = 0.004) and impaired physical states (American Society of Anesthesiologists score III/IV; 60% versus 37%; P = 0.002) when compared with group 2. G1 also exhibited higher rates of primary and secondary hepatic malignancies (G1: n = 62; 92.5%; G2: n = 115, 62.8%; P = 0.031) in addition to higher rates of cirrhosis (G1: n = 30, 44.8%; G2: n = 38, 20.8%; P = <0.001). The rate of major complications (Dindo-Clavien grade ≥ III) was similar between both groups (P = 0.58), with no differences regarding resection extent (P = 0.469). No difference was evident with regard to the median intensive care unit (median 1 versus 1 d; range, G1, 0-8 d, G2, 0-23 d; P = 0.1). However, we observed a significant longer hospital stay in G1 of 1 d (median 8 versus 9 d; G1 range: 4-35 d: G2 range: 4-59 d; P = 0.015).
Conclusions: Minimally invasive liver resection is a feasible and safe procedure in elderly patients despite this age group exhibiting a higher rate of primary and secondary malignancy and cirrhosis, as well as an overall more severely compromised physical health when compared with patients under the age of 70 y. Therefore, it stands to reason that patients in poorer general health might particularly benefit from a minimally invasive approach.
Keywords: Elderly patient; Laparoscopic liver resection; Liver resection; Minimally invasive liver resection.
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