The effect of surgery and anesthesia on memory and cognition was analyzed in a recent study.
‘Working memory decline was associated with longer cumulative surgeries.’
“The cognitive changes we report are highly statistically significant in view of the internal normative standards we employ, and the large sample size of the control, or non-surgery, population. But the cognitive changes after surgery are small–most probably asymptomatic and beneath a person’s awareness,” said senior author Dr. Kirk Hogan, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. “The results await confirmation both in follow-up investigations in our own population sample after more surgeries in aging participants, and by other investigators with other population samples.”
Dr. Hogan noted that it is too early to recommend any changes in clinical practice regarding prevention, diagnosis, management, and prognosis of cognitive changes after surgery.