Objective The aim of this study was to examine the early postoperative period and assess whether elderly patients recuperate differently than do their younger counterparts after surgery for endometrial cancer.
Methods This retrospective chart review comprised all women older than 75 years who underwent laparotomy for endometrial cancer staging at our center from January 2005 through December 2010 and a consecutive control group of women younger than 74 years. Parameters included demographic variables, surgical procedure/findings, postoperative morbidity, and pathology.
Results Ninety patients older than 75 years and 88 younger patients were identified. The elderly patients had a statistically significant prolonged wait for bowel movement (5.9 vs 3.1 days, P = 0.002) and ambulated later (4.1 vs 1.1 days, P < 0.001). Postoperative hospital stay was similar in both groups (5.8 vs 4.2 days, P = 0.37). Early postoperative complications (fever, bowel, wound, eventration, cardiopulmonary) occurred at a similar rate in both groups.
Conclusions Elderly patients after laparotomy for endometrial cancer staging ambulated later and recovered bowel function later than did the younger patients. This did not translate into prolonged hospital stay or excessive complications. Earlier intervention with physical therapy and stool softeners can possibly close this gap in recovery.
- Endometrial cancer
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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.