-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetes patients with high
blood sugar levels are at increased risk for surgical wound-related
complications after having surgery to close chronic skin ulcers
caused by diabetes, a small new study says.
The findings show the need for better blood sugar control in
these patients before they have such surgery, the researchers
Their study of 79 patients found that the risk of serious wound
complications was more than three times higher among those with
high blood sugar before and after surgery, and in those with poor
long-term diabetes control.
The complications included wound dehiscence (re-opening of the
surgical incision), wound infections and repeat surgery. Among the
specific findings, wound dehiscence occurred in 44 percent of
patients with high blood sugar levels before surgery, compared to
19 percent of those with good blood sugar control.
The risk of wound dehiscence was also higher among patients with
high blood sugar levels after surgery and among those with poor
long-term diabetes control, according to the study in the October
issue of the journal
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Patients with wide swings in blood sugar levels were four times
more likely to require repeat surgery, according to a journal news
Although the study found an association between higher blood
sugar levels and wound problems, it didn't establish a
Episodes of high blood sugar can occur around the time of
surgery even in patients with previously good diabetes control,
said study authors Dr. Matthew Endara and Dr. Christopher Attinger,
of the Center for Wound Healing at Georgetown University in
They said their findings point to the importance of good blood
sugar control in diabetes patients undergoing surgery, and said
surgeons may need to consult with specialists to manage patients'
The study authors also said that more research is needed to
confirm whether tighter control of blood sugar levels around the
time of surgery will reduce the rate of surgical wound-related
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases has more about
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