UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Surgery in elderly people: Preoperative, operative and postoperative care to assist healing

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Publication Date


Document Type



Geriatrics | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Surgery | Women's Health


Surgery for elderly women is likely to increase steadily as the population of elderly people increases globally. Although increasing age increases perioperative morbidity and mortality, the functional age and physiologic reserve rather than chronological age is more important in preventing complications. Preparation for surgery, with special attention to functional capacity and activity, mental status, and existing comorbid conditions, can improve outcomes. Perioperative management must be tailored to physiologic changes of ageing, which affect respiratory, cardiac and renal function, as well as guidelines for preventing infection and thrombotic events. Of particular note is the enhanced effect of narcotic medications in elderly people, which affects intraoperative and postoperative management of pain. Prevention of postoperative delirium is accomplished through preoperative and postoperative planning. Discharge planning, particularly for frail elderly people, must start before surgery.


surgery, elderly, women

DOI of Published Version



Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2013 Oct;27(5):753-65. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2013.02.006. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Best practice and research. Clinical obstetrics and gynaecology

PubMed ID