Does radical resection improve the survival in patients with carcinoma of the gallbladder who are 75 years old and older?
Radical resections have been reported to improve the surgical outcome for patients with carcinoma of the gallbladder. In recent years surgeons have had more opportunities to operate on elderly patients. We investigated whether the survival rate of aged patients who had radical resections were better than rates for those who had simple cholecystectomy. Of the 300 patients treated for carcinoma of the gallbladder between 1971 and 1999, 206 resected cases (except pancreaticoduodenectomy and hepatectomy) were divided into two groups: age 75 years or older, 54 patients (the older group), and age less than 75 years, 152 patients (the younger group). Clinical features and progression of the carcinomas did not differ between the two groups. In the older group, 22 patients (40.7%) had simple cholecystectomy, 32 (59.3%) had radical resections; in the younger group, 65 patients (42.8%) had simple cholecystectomy, and 87 (57.3%) had radical resection. None of the older patients who had radical resection died postoperatively. Postoperative survival was not different between the two groups. In the older group the 5-year survival rate for patients who had radical resections was better (60.9%) than the rate for those who had simple cholecystectomy (14.1%) (p = 0.0098). Radical resection is effective for the aged patients with the carcinoma of gallbladder.