Patients with obesity have a higher risk of infection within 30 days after receiving heart bypass surgery, suggests new research.
“Compared to patients with normal BMI, we found that patients with BMI greater than 30 were 1.9 times more likely to report infections after bypass surgery,” said Tasuku Terada from the University of Alberta in Canada.
“A better understanding is needed in order to improve clinical outcomes for patients with obesity and heart disease,” Terada said.
The team analysed data from 56,722 patients to examine associations between body mass index (BMI) and various outcomes following coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also known as coronary angioplasty.
The findings were presented at the Canadian Obesity Summit.
Post-surgical infection means an increase in the length of stay at the hospital for patients, resulting in increased medical costs and use of resources.
Knowing the risks and potential outcomes can help health-care providers and patients make more informed choices about treatment and better use of resources.
Further investigation will help researchers develop tools to help decrease the risk of infection and to ensure that patients are receiving proper care, Mary Forhan, assistant professor at Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta.
“For example, are the chest binders that are used after surgery the right size and are they working the right way?” she asked.
“Our team is currently looking at the re-design of post-surgical chest binders so that patients have better outcomes following bypass surgery,” Forhan said.