Obesity Complicates Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy surgical risks increased by obesity

(RxWiki News) A recent study indicates  that obese women have an increased risk of complications during and after a hysterectomy. 

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Prof Osler, a consultant physician and professor of clinical databases in the Research Centre for Prevention and Health at Glostrup University Hospital in Glostrup, Denmark reports that they discovered that the increased risk of all bleeding complications and infection associated with obese women were only seen in women who underwent an abdominal hysterectomy . There was no increased risk associated with those who had a vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy. The obese women who had an abdominal hysterectomy were at one and a half greater risk compared with women of normal weight.

Additionally, Osler reports women who were too thin did not present as a risk factor and being a little overweight with a BMI between 25 and 30 was not associated with greater risks ther than a two times greater likilihood to experience heavy bleeding. Interesting, the women who were a little overweight appear to have the lowest risk of complications including readmittance to the hospital and additional operations.

Osler concludes by reporting that whenever possible, an obese woman should elect to have a vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy,while slightly overweight women should elect to have a vaginal hysterectomy to avoid increased risk of complications.

The Danish study reviewed data from 20,353 women who had undergone hysterectomy for benign indications such as heavy bleeding, benign muscle tumors and menstrual pain.

The study found that women with a BMI greater than 30 and over had a greater than three-fold increased risk of heavy bleeding during surgery compared to women wth a recommended BMI between 20-25. The obese women also had an increased risk of hematoma and infection.


This study was published in the journal 'Human Reproduction'.

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Review Date: 
June 28, 2011