As our population ages, the demand for surgical services in older people is increasing exponentially. Shown to be indispensable in the care of medical patients, use of the comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) is also growing in the perioperative setting. We present the case of a previously independent 82-year-old man who underwent a standard preoperative assessment and surgical aortic valve replacement. In the 7 months that followed, prior to his death, he suffered a rapid functional decline contributed to by slow postoperative recovery, delirium and recurrent falls. Post-mortem revealed cardiac amyloid deposition and extensive small vessel disease in the brain. This case highlights the importance of the CGA in the perioperative management of older patients, especially in identification and optimisation of geriatric syndromes and consideration of less-invasive alternative treatments. We review the existing literature on CGA use in cardiothoracic and vascular surgical settings, drawing on experiences learnt from the above case.
- geriatric medicine
- long term care
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Contributors Both authors contributed equally to this manuscript. Planning of report was done by LM and KHE-S. Discussion with next of kin, explanation of care and obtaining consent was done by LM. Electronic medical records data collection for case was done by KHE-S. Writing of manuscript was by KHE-S and LM. Senior review of manuscript was done by LM. Submission of case was done by KHE-S and he is the corresponding author.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Next of kin consent obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.