What challenges do people with obesity experience after heart surgery?


After heart surgery people with obesity tend to have more medical comorbidities including diabetes, sleep apnea, and restrictive lung disease (among the most common). This increases surgical and anesthesia risk as the body has issues in its ability to cope and recover from surgery. In addition, obese people have more tissue to provide physiologic support for. In general, this creates a tendency for obese people to have more problems with surgery.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Administration Specialist

After heart surgery people with obesity experience longer overall hospital lengths of stay and discharges with home care, according to a study published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery. The researchers also learned that following heart surgery, people with higher levels of obesity were four times more likely to require extra time in the intensive care unit (ICU), three times more likely to need additional time on mechanical ventilation, and three times more likely to be readmitted to the ICU.

Continue Learning about Heart Surgeries

Heart Surgeries

Heart Surgeries

More than a half million surgeries are done each year to correct heart problems in children and adults. One of the most common types of heart surgery performed is coronary artery bypass grafting, which uses a blood vessel taken fr...

om another part of the body to bypass a blocked artery and help prevent a heart attack. Another is heart valve replacement, used to repair heart valves that don't open and close properly. Heart surgery can be minimally invasive, such as when a small incision is made to the chest to insert a pacemaker. At the other extreme is open-heart surgery, which requires a large incision to the chest to open the rib cage and operate on the heart. Learn more about the different kinds of heart surgeries with expert advice from Sharecare.

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