Background: Loss of independence (LOI) assesses patient quality of life after surgery and is associated with increased readmission and death. This paper compares LOI among the elderly who received elective versus emergent inguinal hernia repair. Methods: The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) Participant User Files from 2015 to 2017 were reviewed for inguinal hernia repairs in patients 70-years-old or older. Chi-square analysis, Student t-test, and backwards multivariate logistic analysis were performed appropriately. Results: Patients undergoing elective open or laparoscopic repair were less likely to experience LOI (OR 0.061, CI 0.035–0.106) and (OR 0.052 CI 0.024–0.113), respectively, and they were less likely to experience mortality (OR 0.07, CI 0.026–0.185) and (OR 0.059, CI 0.015–0.229), respectively. Conclusions: Significant debility occurs following emergency inguinal hernia repair in elderly patients. Elective surgery may be indicated more often in order to reduce emergencies and LOI in elderly patients.
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