Intra-, peri- and postoperative complications in pelvic organ prolapse surgery in geriatric women

Pelvic organ prolapse is a common problem among geriatric women. Advanced age is associated with a high prevalence of comorbidities that can lead to restrictive use of surgical treatment. With rising life expectancy it is predicted that surgical treatment in these women will be seen more frequently. Inconsistently there is a lack of clinical trials giving attention to elderly women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse. The aim of this study was to quantify the rate of complications in elderly women undergoing surgery for pelvic organ prolapse.

72 women aged ≥75 years who underwent surgical correction for pelvic organ prolapse were included in this study. Demographics, comorbidities, intra-, peri- and postoperative severe and non-severe complications were recorded. Additionally we compared the pre- and postoperative presence of symptoms linked to pelvic organ prolapse. Follow-up for the review of pelvic floor symptoms was six month.

The mean age was 81.4 years. Four (5.6%) of the patients had a severe intra-, peri- or postoperative complication (two bowel injuries, one bleeding requiring blood transfusion, one resuscitation). All women with severe complications showed no persistent problem at the time of discharge or during the follow-up period. There was a significant postoperative decrease in pelvic organ prolapse connected symptoms, such as stress urinary incontinence (p = .013), voiding dysfunction (p < .001), recurrent urinary tract infection (p = .001) and rectal outlet obstruction (p = .006).

Elderly women undergoing an operation for pelvic organ prolapse have a low risk of complication and benefit from surgery. Age alone should not be a contraindication to surgery.

European journal of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology. 2018 Mar 23 [Epub]

Marc Körnig, Esther Brühlmann, Andreas Günthert, Corina Christmann

Department of Urogynecology, Cantonal Hospital of Lucerne, Spitalstrasse, 6000 Lucerne, Switzerland; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cantonal Hospital of Baden, Im Ergel 1, 5404 Baden, Switzerland. Electronic address: ., Department of Urogynecology, Cantonal Hospital of Lucerne, Spitalstrasse, 6000 Lucerne, Switzerland.