[en] AIMS: Because the elderly are increasingly referred for operation, we reviewed the results of cardiac surgery in patients of 80 years or older. METHODS AND RESULTS: Records of 182 consecutive octogenarians who had had cardiac operations between 1992 and 1998 were reviewed. Follow-up was 100% complete. Seventy patients had coronary grafting (CABG), 70 aortic valve replacement, 30 aortic valve replacement+CABG, and 12 mitral valve repair/replacement. Rates of hospital death, stroke, and prolonged stay (>14 days) were as follows: CABG: 7 (10%), 2 (2.8%) and 41 (58%); aortic valve replacement: 6 (8.5%), 2 (2.8%) and 32 (45.7%); aortic valve replacement+CABG: 8 (26.5%), 1 (3.8%) and 14 (46.6%); mitral valve repair/replacement: 3 (25%), 1 (8.3%) and 5 (41.6%). Multivariate predictors (P<0.05) of hospital death were New York Heart Association functional class, urgent procedure, prolonged cardiopulmonary bypass time, and, after aortic valve replacement, previous percutaneous aortic valvuloplasty. Ascending aortic atheromatous disease was predictive of stroke, while pre-operative myocardial infarction was predictive of prolonged hospital stay. Actuarial 5-year survival was as follows: CABG, 65.8+/-8.8%; aortic valve replacement, 63.6+/-7.1%; aortic valve replacement+CABG, 62.4+/-6.8%; mitral valve repair/replacement, 57.1+/-5.6%; and total, 63.0+/-5.6%. Multivariate predictors of late death were pre-operative myocardial infarction, and urgent procedure. Ninety percent of long-term survivors were in New York Heart Association class I or II, and 87% believed having a heart operation after age 80 years was a good choice. CONCLUSION: Cardiac operations are successful in most octogenarians with increased hospital mortality, and longer hospital stay. Long-term survival and quality of life are good.