BMI And Infections Following Open GI Surgery

sharma-obesity-surgery3Individuals with high BMI are generally deemed to be at a higher peri and post-operative risk for a wide range of surgical procedures.

However, just how high this risk is remains unclear.

Now a paper by Yunhong Liu and colleagues, in a paper published in the American Journal of Infection Control, looks at mortality and infection outcomes in patients with obesity undergoing open gastro-intestinal surgery.

The researchers performed a meta-analysis of data from 11 articles with over 50,000 patients.

Overall, compared to patients with normal BMIs, those with high BMIs did not appear to be at increased risk of  mortality.

However, there was  30% increased risk for infections, especially due to a 75% increased risk of surgical site infections and a 20% increased risk of pulmonary infections.

These data clearly call for more caution and possibly better infection prophylaxis in patients with higher BMI undergoing open abdominal surgery.

Edmonton, AB