Heart Surgery May Be Less Risky In The Afternoon, Study Suggests

Heart Surgery May Be Less Risky In The Afternoon, Study Suggests

Heart Surgery May Be Less Risky In The Afternoon, Study Suggests

The reasons have to do with circadian rhythms, and the risk of heart damage following operation, researchers report.

The circadian rhythm is the body's 24-hour internal clock, governing various cycles and behaviors such as our sleep and waking patterns, body temperature, and even athletic prowess throughout the day-to-night cycle.

"As a result, moving heart surgery to the afternoon may help to reduce a person's risk of heart damage after surgery".

While the team does not want to discourage people from having life-saving surgery, they do hope to make doctors more aware of the best times to operate.

A new study has suggested that open heart surgery is more successful when performed in the afternoon rather than the morning.

That's the conclusion of a major new study that found there is a significantly higher risk of damage for people having surgery in the morning.

PARIS-The risk of serious heart problems after open heart surgery almost doubles when the operation is performed in the morning rather than the afternoon, researchers said Friday.

And an analysis of the DNA in the samples found 287 genes whose activity showed a circadian rhythm - waxing and waning during the day.

In the observational study, which ran from January 2009 to December 2015, researchers tracked the medical records of nearly 600 people who had heart valve replacement surgery - half had surgery in the morning, half in the afternoon - for 500 days to monitor for any major cardiac events such as a heart attack, heart failure or died from heart disease.

And it says the difference is not down to surgeons being exhausted in the morning.

The study found that only nine per cent of afternoon patients suffered a heart attack, heart failure, or death from heart disease, in the follow-up period, in contrast to 18 per cent of morning patients. Afternoon patients also had around half the risk of suffering from complications.

The study also included a randomized controlled trial of 88 patients who were receiving the same surgery.

Tests on heart tissue samples from 30 of the patients - including 14 who had morning surgery and 16 from the afternoon surgery group - showed that the afternoon surgery samples more quickly regained their ability to contract when put in conditions similar to the heart refilling with blood. If you have heart surgery scheduled in the morning should you immediately cancel it?

The researchers are also looking into whether body clocks have any effect on other types of surgeries.

Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "The time of day appears to be a significant factor in the outcome from surgery, with better outcomes if your surgery is in the afternoon".

If this finding can be replicated in other hospitals this could be helpful to surgeons planning their operating list, for non-urgent heart surgery.

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