Obesity and post-surgery complications

Being overweight or obese are a severe health condition. It can have an impact on various health aspects, including cardiac and musculoskeletal wellbeing, as well as heightened susceptibility to diseases like cancer. Research published in the journal ‘Surgery’ shows that obesity is also associated with an increased risk of complications following surgery, including infection, blood clots, and kidney complications. University of Colorado researchers note that overweight and obesity can have medical impacts that aren’t limited to heart disease and diabetes and liver failure. They can also make recovery from surgery harder. In fact, in their study, researchers found that compared to patients of normal weight, patients who were overweight or obese had higher risk-adjusted odds of developing infection, kidney failure, and venous thromboembolism, or blood clots in the veins, following surgery. Patients in the obesity class III category, with a BMI of 40kg/m² or greater, also had an elevated risk of unplanned hospital readmission. The research says that extra intra-abdominal fat tissue can lengthen the duration of surgeries and make them more complicated. Also, surgery times, on average, were six minutes longer for patients with obesity. Overweight and obesity also are a factor in patients’ immediate recovery from surgery. It can be more challenging for patients with overweight or obesity to be up and moving around after surgery. The study says that obesity is a public health issue that needs to be addressed at every level – local, state, and national.