Laparoscopic Surgery for Colorectal Cancer in Super-Elderly Patients: A Single-Center Analysis

Background: Super-elderly patients with colorectal cancer are being encountered with increasing frequency in Japan. Laparoscopic surgery is considered a less invasive surgery in these patients; however, it is difficult to conduct controlled clinical trials in this super-elderly population. This study assessed the feasibility and safety of laparoscopic colorectal surgery in patients over 85 years old.

Materials and methods: Open and laparoscopic surgeries for colorectal cancer in super-elderly patients (aged 85 y and older) were performed under general anesthesia in a single medical center. Records were retrospectively reviewed, and the clinicopathologic features of each patient and the surgical time and outcomes were recorded and analyzed.

Results: Records of colorectal surgery were reviewed for 108 super-elderly patients. Twenty-six open surgeries and 82 laparoscopic surgeries were performed. The mean operation times were 215 and 228 minutes in open and laparoscopic surgeries, respectively. Intraoperative bleeding in laparoscopic surgery was lesser than that in open surgery. There were 2 cases with major postoperative complications in open surgery, and mortality occurred in one case within 1 month after surgery. No major complications were observed in laparoscopic surgery. In survival analysis, disease-free survival did not differ between the 2 groups. The oldest patient was a man aged 102 years and 6 months who underwent laparoscopic anterior resection with lymph node dissection.

Conclusion: Laparoscopic surgery in super-elderly patients with colon cancer is feasible and safe. The authors report the success of laparoscopic colectomy for rectosigmoid colon cancer in the oldest known patient and the positive outcomes of laparoscopic colectomy in super-elderly patients.