Weight Linked to Post-Hysterectomy Complications

Bleeding, infections more likely in women with low or high body mass index after abdominal hysterectomy

FRIDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity is associated with increased risk of bleeding and infection after abdominal hysterectomy (AH), while having a body mass index (BMI) of less than 20 kg/m² is linked with bleeding and infection after both AH and laparoscopic hysterectomy (LH), according to a study published online April 5 in Human Reproduction.

Merete Osler, M.D., from Glostrup University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues assessed BMI in relation to the risk of post-hysterectomy complications, and investigated whether the risk was affected by the route of surgery. Data on health and lifestyle were collected for 20,353 women referred for hysterectomy for benign indications from 2004 to 2009 in Denmark. The association between BMI and complications during surgery or in the first 30 days thereafter was analyzed.

The researchers found that the overall complication rate was 17.6 percent, and bleeding occurred in 6.8 percent of cases. Obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m²) was correlated with an increased risk of heavy bleeding, all bleeding complications, and infection (odds ratio [OR], 3.64, 1.27, and 1.47, respectively), after adjusting for confounders. Women with a BMI of less than 20 kg/m² had an increased risk of all bleeding complications (OR, 1.48) and reoperation (OR, 1.66). The association between underweight and overweight women and bleeding was for women who underwent AH. Those who underwent LH had an increased bleeding risk only if their BMI was less than 20 kg/m².

"Obesity increases the risks of bleeding and infections after AH. A BMI below 20 seems to increase the risks of bleeding and infection after AH and LH, respectively," the authors write.

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