Our research group has shown that using radiologic tools to assess severe muscle depletion (sarcopenia) is a strong predictor of older patients’ postoperative survival following emergency surgery. Sarcopenia has also been shown to be associated with loss of function, falls, fractures, increased need for rehabilitation and longer hospital stays in older adults.
Evaluating patient-specific risk factors for postoperative complications in the emergency surgery setting is crucial for improving patient care and their outcomes. But to date, there has been no study evaluating the muscle biology in older adults following emergency surgery.
The objective of our research was to understand how muscle characteristic and patient’s biologic samples (blood, urine and stool) provide an insight to overall health outcomes. This knowledge not only identifies high-risk patients, but allows for future personalized treatment (e.g. nutritional/diet modifications, targeted rehabilitation programs), preventative strategies and objective tools to help with patient decision making.