Guest Post: Complications of Cardiac Surgery in Severe Obesity

Tasuku Terada, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta,Edmonton, Canada

Tasuku Terada, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Today’s guest post comes from Tasuku Terada, a postdoctoral research fellow with the Bariatric Care and Rehabilitation Research Group (BCRRG), a multidisciplinary research collaboration, focused on improving the care and rehabilitation outcomes of patients with obesity. Dr. Terada is an Exercise Physiologist and 2015 Canadian Obesity Network, Obesity Research Bootcamp alumni. His research interests include the role of exercise in counteracting chronic health conditions associated with obesity.

Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and referrals for coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) have increased in patients with severe obesity (body mass index: BMI ≥40 kg/m2).

In our recent study published in the Journal of American Heart Association, using data from the Alberta Provincial Project for Outcome Assessment in Coronary Heart Disease (APPROACH) registry, we show that patients with severe obesity were 53% more likely to have complications within 30 days of surgery and had three­fold higher risk of infection compared to patients without obesity.

In addition, the median hospital stay was one day longer in patients with severe obesity compared to patients without obesity. In patients with severe obesity, those who had diabetes and experienced infection stayed 3.2 times longer days in hospital compared to patients without either condition.

Taken together, these results highlight a need for attentive care in bypass patients with severe obesity. Strategies to minimize the risks of infection and efforts to ensure good glucose control for patients with diabetes may also be important for better patient care quality and to reduce the length of hospital stay.

This type of information should be useful to caregivers and lead to prevention or preparation for possible adverse outcomes.

This study was supported by a Partnerships for Research and Innovation in the Health System (PRIHS) award from Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions (AIHS).

Tasuku Terada
Edmonton, AB