The topic in this week's Neighborhood Health Watch is obesity and its impact on patients needing joint replacement surgery. If your weight is significantly higher than it should be and you need total knee or hip replacement surgery, your doctor may not allow you to have the surgery until you lose weight.
Dr. Gregory Schroder with Parham Doctors' Hospital says severely overweight patients are more likely to have serious complications during and after surgery than a patient of normal weight. He says losing just five to ten percent of excess weight will improve your outcome with total knee and hip replacement surgery.
“We want our patients to get the best results they can after surgery and unfortunately with morbid obesity, you're at higher risk for diseases such as cardio vascular disease, hyper tension, sleep apnea, diabetes and diabetic neuropathy. These things can lead to increased complications associated with anesthesia and establishing an airway. Postoperative complications such as bleeding, infection, pulmonary embolism, blood clots and things like that. Most patients think they're pretty fit and in good health but once they realize they have a BMI of 40 or greater some of them may be upset that they can't get their total joint because they're hurting and they want that joint and all of a sudden they're being told they have to lose weight," said Dr. Schroder.
Dr. Schroder recommends the patient see his or her family doctor and get into a weight loss program. He says if medical weight loss doesn’t work, then surgical weight loss may be an option.