AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 29, Number 2, 2020


Cross-Disciplinary Program Improves Surgical Outcomes for Older Patients

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Assessing risk and intervening before surgery leads to shorter hospital stays

Compared to younger adults, older people have higher rates of complications from surgery. But many problems can be avoided by intervening with assessments and risk-reduction strategies before, during and after procedures.

The effort – a program developed at Duke Health called Perioperative Optimization of Senior Health, or POSH – was established in June 2011 by co-directors Sandhya Lagoo-Deenadayalan, M.D., Ph.D., a general surgeon, and Mitchell Heflin, M.D., a geriatrician, with support from the Departments of Surgery and Medicine.

It includes a coordinated approach by surgery, geriatrics and anesthesiology to help older patients make an informed decision about proceeding with and preparing for elective surgeries in order to have the best possible outcomes.

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