Health and Lifestyle for the over 50s

10 Most Common Surgeries For Over 50s Patients

Posted by The Best of Health
Categories: Consultants & Specialists /


As the years go by we expect to experience aches and pains associated with natural ageing, but occasionally more urgent issues crop up, and some of these will inevitably require surgery. So what are the most widely conducted clinical surgeries for the 50+ age group? You may guess that hip and knee replacement surgery feature in the list but would you be aware of colorectal excision or cholecystectomy? From statistics taken from The Health & Social Care Information Centre and the Royal College of Surgeons, we have chosen the following as being among the top ten:

Pacemaker Implantation:

Surgical procedure where a small electrical device called a pacemaker is implanted in the chest.

The pacemaker sends regular electrical pulses that help keep the patient’s heart beating regularly. Pacemaker implantation is one of the most common types of heart surgery carried out in the UK. During 2012-13 in England, more than 40,000 people had a pacemaker fitted.

Colorectal Excision:

Surgical procedure to remove a section of the bowel in order to treat cancer or such diseases as diverticular or Crohn’s.

Mark Flannagan, Chief Executive of Beating Bowel Cancer says that “over 90% of bowel cancers occur in people aged 50+, with a person being diagnosed every 15 minutes. But despite these statistics, the good news is that bowel cancer can be successfully treated in 9 out of 10 cases if caught early.”  For more information about bowel cancer visit Bowel Cancer UK by following this link.

Breast Excision:

Surgery to remove a cancerous lump or a more extensive area of breast tissue, depending on the extent to which the cancer has spread.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in the UK accounting for almost a third (31%) of all female cases according to figures from 2016. The incidence of the condition increases in the over 50s for both men and women.

Hip Replacement Surgery:

Performed in the case of severe arthritis in the hip joint, or following a fracture.

The National Joint Registry report the number of hip replacement procedures to be rising annually and are set to increase by 40% over the next 30 years. Hip joint replacement has become one of the most successful innovations in modern medicine with just over 66,000 procedures being carried out in 2013 throughout England and Wales.

Knee Replacement Surgery:

Performed where arthritis in the knee joint is severe, or following a fracture.

The NHS state that ‘more than 70,000 knee replacements are carried out in England and Wales each year, and the number is rising.’

Radical Prostatectomy:

Removal of prostate in order to remove cancerous tumour and surrounding tissue.

Most prevalent in men over 60, with half of patients being over 75. If cancer is small and slow-growing it may be left untreated and just monitored.

Inguinal (groin) hernia:

Surgical repair to reinforce the abdominal muscle wall through which the hernia protrudes.

This is to prevent the hernia becoming strangulated and infected.


Removal of the gall bladder in cases where pain and nausea are experienced.

Gall stones can cause infection in the gall bladder or pancreas. According to the NHS publication ‘Choices’, cholecystectomy is one of the most widely carried-out surgical procedures with over 60,000 gall bladder removals taking place each year.


Removal of vision-impairing cataracts from one or both eyes.

According to research 30% of people aged 65 years and over were found to have cataract in one or both eyes. For more details about cataract surgery, why not follow our link to an earlier article.

Melanoma Surgery:

Removal of moles and abnormal areas of skin.

Figures published by Cancer Research UK show that 72% of male cases occur in those aged over 50. They stress the need for men to regularly check moles.

In their collaborative publication, ‘Access All Ages’ – Age UK and The Royal College of Surgeons, set out an encouraging pledge to support to the availability of surgical procedures for all patients in the over 50s age group. Professor Norman Williams, former President of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, had this to say:

“With the ban on age discrimination now in effect in the NHS, there is a legal as well as a moral and professional imperative to ensure that older patients receive the most appropriate treatment for their individual needs.”

Awareness of conditions which commonly affect the over 50s age group is critical in managing our own health and wellbeing. For more helpful information about these, and a wide range of conditions, have a browse around our website.

To keep up to date with issues affecting the over 50s, you may like to follow us on Facebook or sign up to our free newsletter, The Best of Friends via this link.

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Posted by The Best of Health

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