BOSTON Contrary to the long-held belief that surgery poses a significant danger to patients with diabetes mellitus, a 10-year study of more than 6,500 patients from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has shown a mortality rate of only 1 percent among diabetes patients undergoing major vascular operations.
The findings, published in the April issue of the Archives of Surgery and presented last September at the New England Surgical Society meeting, represent the largest study of this type to conclude that patients with diabetes should be offered the same surgical options as patients without diabetes.
These results show mortality rates that are dramatically lower than the national average in patients both with and without diabetes, according to lead author Allen D. Hamdan, M.D., of BIDMCs Department of Vascular Surgery, explaining that mortality rates of between 4 and 6 percent would typically be expected. This study is exciting both for the low overall mortality rate that was shown, as well as for the fact that diabetes mellitus was not found to be an independent predictor of morbidity or mortality during hospitalization for surgery, says Hamdan.
Patients with diabetes mellitus are at an increased risk for vascular diseases in all the bodys arteries, including the legs and lower extremities. This can often lead to ulceration and, potentially, amputation.
These study results are especially good news for diabetes patients who might otherwise have to undergo amputation, explains Frank W. LoGerfo, M.D., Chief of Vascular Surgery at BIDMC. The findings suggest that these patients would be at low risk for complications in lower extremity revascularization surgery, which is performed to restore circulation to the foot and prevent amputation.
Using a comprehensive computerized registry created by LoGerfo and BIDMC vascular surgeons and co-authors Frank B. Pomposelli, Jr., M.D., and David R. Campbell, M.D., the study reviewed the cases of
Contact: Bonnie Prescott
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center