Peri-operative care of the elderly | Association of Anaesthetists
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Peri-operative care of the elderly

This document has been withdrawn and remains available as a reference document only.


Increasing numbers of elderly patients are undergoing an increasing variety of surgical procedures. Compared with younger surgical patients, the elderly are at relatively higher risk of mortality and morbidity after elective and (especially) emergency surgery. Multidisciplinary care improves outcomes for elderly surgical patients. The Association strongly supports an expanded role for senior geriatricians in coordinating peri-operative care for the elderly, with input from senior anaesthetists (consultants/associate specialists) and surgeons. 

These guidelines offer guidance on peri-operative care of the elderly, including: 

  • Pathophysiology of ageing 
  • The surgical pathway 
  • Pre-operative care 
  • Intra-operative management 
  • Postoperative care 
  • Ethico-legal issues 
  • Research and audit