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Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1992 Jun;40(3):126-9.

The influence of obesity on perioperative morbidity: retrospective study of 502 aortocoronary bypass operations.

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Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Freiburg, Germany.


The incidence of perioperative complications after coronary artery surgery was investigated by a retrospective study of all 502 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery in our Department between January 1st and December 31st of last year (1990). Furthermore, the influence of obesity on the early results of surgery was assessed and the effect of preoperative weight reduction on perioperative complication rates examined. Obese patients had a greater incidence of left-stem coronary artery stenosis (p less than 0.001), hyperlipidaemia (p less than 0.05), hypertension (p less than 0.05), diabetes mellitus (p less than 0.02), and were in general younger at the time of operation (57.9 +/- 8.4 vs. 60.8 +/- 8.5 years). There were no differences in the surgery performed and in operative mortality, but there were some in perioperative morbidity. Obese patients had higher rates of infection (p less than 0.02), sternal dehiscence (p less than 0.02), arrhythmias (p less than 0.02) and myocardial infarction (p less than 0.02). No significant differences were identified in obese patients with or without preoperative weight reduction, although there was a trend of better postoperative recovery and results in patients having undergone preoperative weight reduction. Analysis of our results demonstrated obesity to be an independent risk factor for perioperative complications, hospital morbidity, and length of hospitalization.

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