Elderly nursing home residents experience more surgical complications than other elders their age. Residents typically have other advanced medical problems and may often be too frail for many ordered procedures, researchers said.
Physicians might be far too aggressive when ordering surgeries for nursing home residents, according to researchers from the University of California in San Francisco. They studied data from 70,000 nursing home residents and one million non-institutionalized Medicare beneficiaries over age 65.
They found that mortality rates after surgeries such as gall bladder, appendix or colon removals, as well as bleeding ulcers, were consistently higher in nursing home residents than other seniors.
Bottom line - be educated on the risk. Question your physician and the surgeons. Remember we are still under a reimbursement system that awards more procedures. And there are unscrupulous physicians who are simply out to make as much money as they possibly can. Not all. But some.
So be cynical and question everything.