Why do people with obesity incur higher medical costs after heart surgery?

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Administration Specialist

People with obesity incur higher medical costs after heart surgery because obese people tend to require additional intensive care unit (ICU) services and longer recovery times when compared to non-obese people who have heart surgery. This results in more expensive, more labor-intensive care. The ICU provides a number of highly specialized services requiring expensive resources including staff, medical equipment and medication.

People with obesity incur higher medical costs after heart surgery because heart surgery can be increasingly more difficult with the increased fat that accumulates around the heart, chest and body. Higher doses of medications, amount of blood required to transfuse, and difficulty with anesthesia and airway management can also contribute to higher costs. Obesity alone is associated with its own medical complications, and is an independent risk factor for a number of other diseases. This can also complicate the post-operative healing process.

Continue Learning about Obesity



If you have too much body fat, you are obese, just like over 70 million other Americans. It happens because you eat more calories than you use, and your body converts the excess to fat. There are lots of reasons that this can happ...

en. Our lifestyle may lack exercise, we are given portions that are too big and too caloric when we eat, and some of us are just more efficient genetically at converting food into fat.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.