As the human body ages, it’s various systems begin to degrade. Everything from kidney function to neuromuscular responses start to slow down and can eventually cease altogether. As science continues to progress at a breakneck pace, more and more options for treating the many symptoms of aging are becoming available within the field of allopathic medicine. However, the risks involved in surgeries are still in fair amount, and this can be seen particularly in the case of geriatric patients.
In the previous paragraph, I mentioned how the systems in the human body deteriorate with age. The human body may be a marvel, but it’s not invincible. This overall slowdown in metabolic processes can lead to things like heart disease, and cirrhosis of the liver, but it also results in an increase in the risks of surgery in elderly patients. For example, the older people often have slower metabolisms. This means that even after surviving a successful surgery, there’s the matter of recovery. In younger patients, recovery post-surgery is common, expected even, providing the patient doesn’t have any other pre-existing conditions. In the elderly, this is not necessarily the case.
Furthermore, during surgery, older bodies are much less resilient than younger ones. For example, during open heart surgery, there is a high possibility of an artery getting nicked by the surgeon. This can cause a rapid, if temporary loss in blood pressure. A young patient’s body can usually withstand the strain until the medical team can plug the leak, but an older person will often simply expire right then and there.
It’s important to remember that as far as medical science has come, there are certain problems that it still can’t fix, one of those being old age. As such, there are still much higher risks of surgery in elderly patients than the young ones.