Seniors and Anesthesia

More than 12 percent of the U.S. population is older than 65 – and more than half of those will undergo at least one surgical procedure as senior citizens. In the coming years, the number of retirees, as well as the number of them having surgery, is expected to grow substantially.

Senior citizens face increased risks for complications during and after surgery. These may include postoperative delirium, a condition that causes some patients to become confused and disoriented for up to a week after surgery, and postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD), which is defined as having long-term problems with loss of memory, learning and the ability to concentrate.

It is important to talk with your anesthesiologist and ask questions regarding your upcoming anesthesia experience.


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Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.

For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit Join the ANESTHESIOLOGYTM 2014 social conversation today. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter and use the hashtag #ANES2014.



American Society of Anesthesiologists