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2016 | 88(3) | 136-141
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Treatment of acute appendicitis in geriatric patients – literature review

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Demographic changes associated with the aging population mean that surgeons increasingly have contact and make decisions about treating patients from the oldest age groups. The aim of the study was to review the literature concerning the treatment of acute appendicitis in patients over the age of 60 years old. Material and methods. A review of the literature published in the years 2000-2015 has been carried out using the PubMed database. The initial number of results corresponding to the query in English, „appendicitis (MeSH) AND elderly (MeSH)” was 260. Selection based on the titles, abstracts, and eventually whole articles, ultimately resulted in 11 papers concerning the treatment of appendicitis in patients above 60 years of age. Results. Nine papers were retrospective and 2 were prospective. In total, the studies included 82,852 patients. Laparoscopic appendectomy was associated with a lower mortality rate, a smaller number of postoperative complications and a shorter length of hospital stay, which led to it being recommended by most authors. Four of the ten papers demonstrated that the patients who were qualified for laparoscopic surgery had less comorbidity and were in a lower ASA (American Society of Anaesthesiology) category. Antibiotic therapy as an independent method was assessed in one study in a group of elderly people, on a selected group of 26 patients, and its effectiveness was shown to be 70%. Most studies, however, are highly heterogeneous which significantly hindered comparisons. Conclusions. Currently, laparoscopic appendectomy seems to be the treatment of choice in the elderly with acute appendicitis. Antibiotic therapy, as an independent method of treatment of acute appendicitis, cannot currently be recommended. However, further, prospective, and better-designed studies are needed, involving a larger number of patients, and primarily dedicated to the elderly.
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