Entries in Complications (4)


Study Says Thyroid Surgery is Riskier for Seniors 

Keith Brofsky/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Seniors who undergo thyroid surgery are more likely than younger patients to suffer from serious postoperative complications, Health Day reports.

Researchers said the findings challenge the prevalent belief that thyroid surgery for older patients is low-risk. Authors of the study analyzed data from almost 8,000 U.S. patients who had all or part of their thyroid gland removed. The risk of serious complications after surgery was double in patients ages 65 to 79 and five times higher in patients 80 and older, compared to younger patients.

The findings come from a recenty study that appears in the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Thin People At Greater Risk of Dying After Surgery, Study Finds

Keith Brofsky/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- Being thin isn't an advantage when it comes to surviving surgery, a new study finds.

University of Virginia researchers say that heavier people have a lower chance of dying within 30 days after an operation as opposed to their thinner counterparts.  George Stukenborg and his team aren't really sure why that is after setting out to learn how obesity affects the risk of surviving surgery.

Typically, people with higher body mass index rates are prone to contract more life-threatening diseases, but these new findings of post-surgery complications among thin patients have left scientists puzzled.

Dr. Nestor de la Cruz-Munoz, chief of bariatric surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, believes the answer is that, "a lot of these patients are malnourished -- maybe cancer patients, patients undergoing treatment for other medical problems.  A lot of time these patients don't have the defenses to do well with a major surgery."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Most Women Experience Complicated Deliveries, AHRQ Says

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- More than nine out of every 10 women giving birth in the U.S. had complications in 2008, according to data released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Premature labor, urinary infection anemia, diabetes, vomiting, bleeding and hypertension were among complications experienced by 94 percent of women hospitalized for pregnancy and delivery, the federal agency reports in its latest News and Numbers.

AHRQ also found that complications during delivery also made up nearly five percent of total U.S. hospital costs at $17.4 billion.  Hospital stays for complicated pregnancies cost almost 50 percent more than those without complications, the agency says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Perils of Pregnancy: Obesity and Advanced Age

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Preeclampsia -- out-of-control hypertension in pregnancy -- is the number-one cause of maternal death around the world. But another disease is taking a toll on mothers and babies, especially in the United States -- obesity.

"The number-one health condition that affects pregnancy is obesity," said Dr. Katharine Wenstrom, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Women and Infants Hospital at Brown University in Rhode Island. "It changes everything with an increased risk for all pregnancy complications."

More than half of all women in the U.S. are overweight or obese when they become pregnant, and most go on to gain more than the recommended amount during pregnancy, according to Kaiser Permanente.

Doctors now know that fat cells are not inert and can produce inflammation. For pregnant women, that inflammation affects the placenta, according to Wenstrom. Obese women have smaller babies, more pre-term labor, airway problems and chances of serious complications during a C-section.

"The chance of death is higher and it's a real risk," she said.

"Most women do just fine," said Dr. Maurice Druzin, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University.

But social changes such as women delaying childbirth are making pregnancy more complicated. Advanced reproductive technologies have allowed women "who are not supposed to get pregnant" to have children, said Druzin.

"If you left it to nature, they would not get pregnant at this age," he said. "There are big ramifications of infertility with more multiples. ... Women who are older tend to have more chronic medical illnesses like hypertension and diabetes and are at more risk of getting gestational diabetes and preeclampsia."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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