Older prostate surgery patients ‘have higher risk of complications’
Posted Oct 14 2011 6:53pm
Issue Codes Incontinence Products for Men
Men who undergo surgery for prostate cancer at a late age appear to have an elevated risk of post-surgical complications, such as male incontinence , compared with their younger counterparts, a new study has found.
Prostate surgery is already known to increase the risk of urinary incontinence , as the nerves surrounding the gland can be damaged during the procedure.
For this reason, many men choose not to have surgery unless their tumour is growing aggressively.
Scientists in the US and Germany, recently conducted a study which discovered that the risk of incontinence and other complications may be greater among surgical patients who are over the age of 75.
The researchers analysed data on 115,554 patients, all of whom underwent a surgical procedure called open radical prostatectomy between 1998 and 2007.
Of these, 2,109 (1.8 per cent) were 75 years of age or older.
Publishing their findings in the journal BJU International, the study authors revealed that over-75s were more likely to need blood transfusions and were more likely to experience post-surgical complications.
Seventeen per cent of older men experiencing complications following their operation, compared with just 12 per cent of younger men.
The researchers concluded that adverse outcomes were “more often recorded in the elderly”.
Lead researcher Dr Quoc-Dien Trinh, a urologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, was interviewed by Reuters news agency about the team’s findings.
He told the news agency that the higher rate of complications among older study participants was unsurprising.
The expert also noted that treating early-stage prostate tumours can do more harm than good, as men can be put at increased risk of male incontinence when their tumour might have been slow-growing and non-life-threatening.
Dr Trinh told Reuters: “Radical prostatectomy in men aged 75 or older should be an exceptional event.
“They should at least seek the care of an expert surgeon/institution, especially when we know that they are at higher risk of complications than their younger counterparts.”