Acute surgical treatment of perforated peptic ulcer in the elderly patients

Yen Hao Su, Chi Chuan Yeh, Chih Yuan Lee, Mong Wei Lin, Chen Hsiang Kuan, I. Rue Lai, Chiung Nien Chen, Hong-Mau Lin, Po Huang Lee, Ming Tsan Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aims: Emergency abdominal surgery is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates, especially in the elderly patients, but prompt diagnoses and treatment should not be delayed. We conducted a retrospective review (1) to identify risk factors for morbidity and mortality among elderly patients admitted for emergent surgery of perforated peptic ulcers; and (2) to determine whether there were any differences between those who are 70-79 years old and those 80 years old and older. Methodology: 94 patients who were older than 70 years old and underwent emergency surgery for perforated peptic ulcer between 2000 and 2004 in our institution were reviewed retrospectively. The following variables were followed: age, sex, comorbidity, previous medications, time from onset of symptoms/signs to surgery, time from arrival in emergent room to surgery, perioperative risks, operative findings, type of operation, morbidity, mortality and length of hospital stay. Results: The age, morbidity, mortality and the length of intensive care unit stay were increased in Group 2 (>80 yrs) than Group 1 (70 to 79 yrs), but they did not achieve significant differences statistically. Time from symptoms/signs to emergency room over 24 hours, American Society of Anesthesiologist grade over IV and limited procedure showed significant contributions to postoperative morbidity on univariate analysis. Comorbidity, time from emergency room to operation room over 12 hours, American Society of Anesthesiologists grade over IV, peri-operative blood transfusion, postoperative morbidity and duration of ICU stays over 5 days were significant factors contributed to mortality on univariate analysis. Further analysis showed comorbidity, peri-operative blood transfusion, and postoperative morbidity were independent and predictive factors of mortality on multivariate model. Conclusions: Although perforated peptic ulcer in the elderly patients is associated with high morbidity and mortality, we should not delay the surgical intervention for patients with advanced age. Timely diagnosis and early surgical management of perforated peptic ulcers was imperative for elderly patients. The abdominal computer tomography was recommended in elderly patients for who had vague and atypical clinical symptoms/signs of perforated peptic ulcer. In addition, more attention should be paid to patients with preoperative comorbidities, peri-operative blood transfusion and post-operative morbidity for which were associated with high post-operative mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1608-1613
Number of pages6
Issue number104
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute abdomen in elderly patients
  • Perforated peptic ulcer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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