There are many risks when it comes to performing surgery on older patients. As we get older, surgery and anesthesia can take a toll on both our bodies and our minds. Not to mention, recovery times can be much longer, according to U.S. News. The risk must be weighed against the likelihood that interfering via surgery will have worse effects than not interfering.

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This is not always the case, however. Some patients up in to their 70s, or even 80s, can do just as well postoperatively as younger patients.

Most Important Things to Consider for Older Patients Needing Surgery

Older adults needing surgery have many things to take under consideration when making the choice(s) determining whether or not to move forward. These considerations include things like, but not limited to, possible frailty, current medical conditions, mental health issues, and any chronic conditions that may be present.

Doctors also take things like where the patient lives, how they function in their everyday lives, and their individual health goals in general into consideration. And, in many cases, watchful waiting may be the better option compared to the risks of invasive surgery.

100-Year-Old Michigan Woman Makes Her Own Decision About Surgery

When Michigan centenarian, Donna M., was found by her son sitting on her couch complaining of both chest and belly pain, he took her directly to the hospital.  After a few tests the doctors determined the chest pain was being caused by the onset of A-Fib (atrial fibrillation), or abnormal heart rhythm. But, the belly pain, unfortunately, was a different story.

Tests showed that her stomach pain was caused by a large bowel blockage. When asked what they could do to help, the doctors laid out all the options. That is, all the options that did not involve surgery.

After listening to the concerns and risks involving all the treatment options, Donna told them she wanted to go through with the surgery, regardless of the risks. She said she would rather take the risk at 100 years old than live in pain.

Unbelievably The Surgery Was a Success

To the disbelief of the doctors, and even some family members, Donna made it through the surgery and was taken back to her room for recovery.

Within 24 hours, Donna's spunk (which she had always been known for) began to resurface as she begged for more than just ice chips to 'wet her whistle.'

The non-advised surgery took place on Sunday, June 11th, 2023. And, although she was still quite sore from the surgery that removed 5 inches of blocked intestine just three short days prior, to the surprise of doctors & family members alike, she was able to get out of bed and take steps on her own on Wednesday, June 14th.

People always say, "Age is nothing but a number." But when your age reaches 100, it is more than just a number, it's an accomplishment. 

Credit: Duffy Connolly
Credit: Duffy Connolly

Here's to continued success in Michigan centenarian, Donna M.'s, recovery. You are truly an inspiration.

(I love you, Grandma! Yes, this is actually my grandmother. And she is AMAZING!)

SEE ALSO: How Many People Live to The Age Of 100 In Michigan

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