Surgery for chronic lower extremity ischemia in patients eighty or more years of age: Operative results and assessment of postoperative independence

Mark R. Nehler, Gregory (Greg) Moneta, James Edwards, Richard A. Yeager, Lloyd M. Taylor, John M. Porter

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    Purpose: Revascularization for chronic lower extremity ischemia (CLEI) in patients 80 or more years of age is controversial. High operative mortality, short remaining life span, and nonambulatory nursing home existence are cited as frequent outcomes in this patient group. Despite these considerations we have maintained an aggressive policy of lower extremity revascularization in functional and potentially functional patients 80 or more years of age with limb-threatening ischemia or claudication sufficient to threaten their independence. Methods: The records of all patients 80 or more years of age who underwent lower extremity revascularization for CLEI from 1981 through 1991 were reviewed. Patients were evaluated for surgical indication, perioperative mortality, late survival, graft patency, and limb salvage. In addition, the patient's preoperative and postoperative independence determined by living situation (home versus nursing home) and ambulatory status were examined. Results: During the period reviewed 88 patients 80 or more years of age underwent 95 arterial reconstructions for CLEI; 95% for limb salvage and 5% for short-distance claudication. There were 81 (85%) infrainguinal bypasses and 14 (15%) extraanatomic bypasses, 5 of which also included a simultaneously placed infrainguinal bypass. The perioperative mortality rate was 6%. Mean hospitalization was 18 days (range 6 to 62). The 1- and 3-year primary graft patency rates were 88% and 66%, limb salvage rates 94% and 91%, and patient survival rates 73% and 51%, respectively. One year after operation 88% of patients were ambulatory, 85% were living at home, and 80% were both living at home and ambulatory. At 3 years these results were 86%, 76%, and 71%, respectively. Of the patients living at home and ambulatory before operation, 100% and 84% of survivors were still living at home and ambulatory 1 and 3 years after operation. Of patients living at home who had late graft occlusions, 67% required amputation and subsequent nursing home placement. Conclusion: Although survival in this group is predictably lower than that of age-matched control subjects, octogenarians have satisfactory 1- and 3-year graft patency, limb salvage, and functional results. Revascularization for CLEI in patients 80 or more years of age is appropriate and results in maintenance of independent living in a large majority.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)618-626
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1993


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
    • Surgery

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