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Obesity May Increase Risk of Surgical Complications
Date:7/8/2011

spite the trend, the study's authors concluded the increased risk of complications could deter some surgeons from taking on these higher-risk obese patients.

"It's more work, and it's a more complex surgery, as opposed to operating on a thin patient. And the payment is the same," Makary pointed out. "There are definitely incentives there for surgeons and institutions to select healthier patients. They're getting reimbursed less per unit of work for obese patients."

The researchers concluded that more research is needed to determine the role obesity plays in a wider range of surgeries so that new standards can be established to account for any differences, particularly increased risks.

More information

The American Heart Association details some of the cardiac risks associated with surgery in obese patients.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Medicine, news release, June 29, 2011


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