MONDAY, May 15, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Patients with obesity have increased odds of postoperative infection, venous thromboembolism, and renal complications, but no increased odds of other postoperative complications, according to a study published in the May issue of Surgery.

Helen J. Madsen, M.D., from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, and colleagues analyzed the 2012 to 2018 American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement database, including patients from all nine surgical specialties. Preoperative characteristics and postoperative outcomes were compared by body mass index class. Data were included for 5,572,019 patients; 44.6 percent had obesity.

The researchers found that patients with obesity had marginally higher median operative times (89 versus 83 minutes). Patients with overweight and obesity in classes I, II, and III had higher adjusted odds of developing infection, venous thromboembolism, and renal complications compared with patients with normal weight, but the odds of other postoperative complications were not increased.

“We need to continue to recognize that overweight and obesity can have medical impacts that aren’t limited to heart disease and diabetes and liver failure,” a coauthor said in a statement. “They can also make recovery from surgery harder, and these data can inform the conversation happening at a broader public health level addressing obesity.”

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