4 key points on physical frailty increasing older patients' complication risk following ambulatory surgery

Researchers found physical frailty is associated with a higher complication risk among older adults following common ambulatory surgery, according to Medscape.

University of California, San Francisco researchers analyzed American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program registry 2007 to 2010 data of 40,828 patients older than 40 years. The patients underwent ambulatory hernia, breast, thyroid or parathyroid surgery.

Here are four key points:

1. Among all patients, overall complications were 1.7 percent and serious complications rates were 0.7 percent.

2. Patients with intermediate modified frailty index scores had a more than two times likelihood of having serious complications after researchers adjusted for poor prognostic factors.

3. Overall, the risk for serious complications increased as a patient's modified frailty index score rose.

4. Researchers concluded, "The assessment of frailty in a geriatric patient can be relevant to both preoperative risk stratification and risk modification to improve outcomes. Therefore, our goal for frailty assessment in the preoperative setting should be to improve patient selection and the informed consent process for frail patients, regardless of chronological age, and to remove barriers to treatment for older nonfrail patients."

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