Should my 87-year-old mom have surgery? - AgingCare.com

Should my 87-year-old mom have surgery?

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My moms bladder keep coming out. She has moderate dementia, and UTI's are coming on more frequent. This started 3 years ago, and we didn't do anything because I thought surgery would fry more brain cells. But my mom is a tough little(108)lbs bird. I don't know if it's worth it to put her through this.

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If this is deemed a necessary surgery the health care team should be able to ensure it can be done despite her dementia. She needs a gerontologist or geriatric psychiatrist who can better understand how to help her through this, perhaps with medication to reduce her anxiety or even sedation.
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My dad had surgery at 87 for an obstructed colon - drs said he would die a terrible death if he didn't have surgery. He was quite frail, was recovering from pneumonia and the loss of my mother just 2 months earlier. The obstruction was cancer. He lived another 15 months, but was mostly bedridden and depressed. He qualified for hospice care after rehab - they were wonderful. Essentially, he was between a rock & a hard place when he chose the surgery. He thought he'd recover quickly as he'd done when he was younger. It's a hard call. He did not have dementia - however, my mother did. When she had a massive hemorrhagic stroke at age 87, she lost consciousness. Doctor told us they could treat her aggressively or just keep her comfortable. We knew her wishes and chose the latter. She died 8 days later. With dementia, some folks hope for something else to take our loved ones before dementia runs its full course. We felt that way about our mother.
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My mom is 10 years older than yours, and I think that living with the complications of a prolapsed bladder for 10 years would have greatly decreased her quality of life, but it really depends on your mom's comorbidities, her stage of dementia, her family history of longevity, and how complex the actual surgery and recovery period.
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My mom had hip replacement at 89, in her mind doctors wouldn't do it after 90. She needed extra care in hospital because they pumped her with laxatives to get her out more quickly causing dehydration which was scary. Other than that, she came through flying, she now walks a quarter mile with her AL friends. We were worried about worsening dementia, but she has slowly come back. She is on mild antidepressant relieved anxiety - wish she had started this 5-10 years ago. She has a new life. You can only make your best educated decision and go with it with her agreement. Best of luck.
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my dh had a new heart valve placed when he was 93 and he's still going and will be 96 in September.

don't put off that surgery any longer. the UTI's can kill her faster than the surgery.
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Good Moecam.
And a second opinion, exploring non-surgical oprions such as a pessary.She will need medication if a spinal block is used.
Allow the doctors to come up with creative ways and alternative treatments.
A surgeon will perform surgery. Try a gynecologist.
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My Mom is 97 years old and in May had a laparotomy done to cure adhesions. 18 staples and 1 week later, the staples came out, healed and she is fine. But she is a tough bird. It was an easy call; either do the surgery or have her go to the ER every 3-4 weeks to have her stomach drained via a naso-gastric tube.
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Ask the Doctor for medication to give her about 30 minutes before the appointment to relax her so she can be fully examined. This will make getting her there and getting her home a bit more difficult and possibly risky due to a greater chance of a fall. Although it sometimes takes more than 30 minutes for the Dr to walk into the exam room so if the medication is given to her in the car the trip to the Dr should not be a problem.
Just know that the Dementia and anesthesia do not go well together and she may never "come back" to the point she is now. There will be a decline and that is to be expected. How much of one and for how long is the question.
I made the decision with/for my Husband not to have dental work done. Not just due to the anesthesia but dealing with the open wounds in the mouth later would have been a problem.
So this is sort of your call.
How will she recover?
How will she do with recovery?
How will she do with any pain?
Will she be compliant with any after instructions?Is she living with you?...If so how will you do with all this?
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I completely agree with cwillie. A prolapsed bladder is nothing to mess around with. There are hygiene issues and health issues as well. Modern surgical techniques should not "fry brain cells". If she is becoming prone to bladder infections, this adds to the mix. My own mom was also a "tough little bird" and when she had a bladder infection, she became physically combative with everyone. They put her waaaay out of her mind. You're letting mom run the show. I'm not saying tie her to the table and force her to have the surgery. If she is in a facility, rely in them for help. Sometimes these "tough little birds" become sweet little doves with people they don't really know.
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Ask about her getting a spinal block & mild sedative - this what I had when I had a double knee replacement - much better as this time I didn't get sick to my stomach - hopefully this should give much less stress on her brain - at least if you ask about this the drs will know you are checking out options for her - good luck
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