It is often a tough question: Mom has an illness that could be treated with surgery. The operation is routine for a younger patient. But is it too risky for an elder like mom?
Today, doctors who consider the special risks of surgery for older patients must use complicated and time-consuming assessments to judge whether an operation is the best choice. But University of Colorado (Denver) surgeon Thomas N. Robinson has found a highly-reliable and incredibly simple test: Ask the patient to stand up, walk 10 feet, and sit down.