Why it is Important to Lose Weight Before Surgery?
Dr. Dan Albright, an orthopedic surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina discusses the risks involved with surgery when a patient is morbidly obese. Dr. Albright defines morbidly obese using Body Mass Index (BMI). Dr. Albright lays out the weight loss goal to make surgery safer for the patient. Watch the video for more details.
Transcription of Video:
Why do you need to lose weight before orthopedic surgery? That’s the topic and the question I’d like to address here. My name is Dr. Dan Albright. I’m an orthopedic surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina.
So why is it important to lose weight? If you’re a little overweight, it’s not important, that’s fine, but if you have substantial excess weight it makes surgery harder. It makes my job tougher to do surgery with a lot of extra weight. It also makes it riskier.
People who approach morbid obesity or have substantial excess weight get more blood clots with many of the surgeries that we do in orthopedics. They get more infections. They bleed more. Surgery is just technically harder to do. They get more pneumonias maybe pressure sores. Your rehabilitation therapy after is tougher and slower. There are a lot of medical aspects to this where extra, substantially extra, amounts of weight makes the whole surgery business tougher and more dangerous.
So as a surgeon we have a real interest in you losing weight before surgery. So how much weight do you have to lose? Again if you’re a little overweight that does not matter we can do the surgery, no problem, but you might need to lose 40 pounds or 100 pounds. We go by body mass index that’s BMI. I invite you to Google that. Just type BMI, put in your height, put in your weight. BMI is calculated. It’s really easy to do. It’s really quick.
We go by BMI, so if you have a body mass index of 40 – that’s morbidly obese and that’s starting to get dangerous for surgery. So we try not to operate when you’re over forty so there’s one
answer. If your body mass index is over 40, you need to get less than 40. Preferably close to 30, but certainly less than forty and that’s a medical fact.
Around the country more and more we’re trying not to operate on patients with BMIs over 40. That’s an important number to know
and that’ll guide you in how much weight you need to lose.
I’m happy to talk to you more about this topic if you’re a candidate for surgery or not or what’s a good weight loss program and I
have a lot of ideas on that.
My website is danalbrightmd.com and the appointment line is 919-863-6808. Thanks.
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