Can I Be Refused Surgery Because of Age Limits?
Doctor Answers (2)
Risks of Cosmetic Surgery in the Elderly
Regarding: " Can I be refused surgery because of age limits? I am 78 and I need abdominal wall repair, umbilical hernia and large diastasis. 24 hour distress. I was landscaping when My tummy ripped inside, and the the umbilical popped and formed a large apron which is unbearable. Instead of helping , my physician gave me remeron and I gained weight. I have lost now, and tummy feels worse, and did not reduce. I am still in shock. My waist went from 36" to 50 " in 3 months and stayed there. I am walking dead, yet in pain"
A surgeon must always weigh the added risks of surgery intended to correct a FUNCTIONAL Deformity or Deficit VS.the risks of not treating the present condition. There is no point of fixing a non-incarcerated hernia in a patient with serious coronary disease who may die on the OR table or shortly after wards.
A Plastic surgeon must weigh the risk of a COSMETIC (Non functional) Deformity VS. the risks posed by the very operation in THAT patient.
Being 78 years by itself is no reason to deny you an ABDOMINAL REPAIR OPERATION (? Component Separation with or without use of Mesh). But - if you have other risk factors such as Coronary disease, Diabetes, are or were a Smoker and have COPD, have an autoimmune disease, or have a psychiatric condition which may prevent you from understanding and complying with doctors' orders, many surgeons would justifiably be reluctant to operate on you.
Lastly, we need to address the 800 pound gorilla in the room. You live in Canada where the health system rewards doctor inaction. If a surgeon gets paid the same for operating on a healthy 45 year old as for a much more complex operation on a not so healthy 78 year old AND their OR schedule is filled for months, it is understandable why your case is not enthusiastically jumped on. You may want to schedule a consultation with several surgeons in Seattle and see what they suggest. It may surprise you.
Surgery in older patients
I am not sure what your problem is? Do you have a true hernia that developed after the landscaping? You may need a workup with a CT as well. Definitely a good physical exam would be critical.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.
You might also like...
Ask a Doctor
Get personalized answers from board-certified doctors. For free.