BACKGROUND - Obesity has become a major epidemic in the United States. Although research suggests obesity does not increase major morbidity or mortality after thoracic operations, it likely results in greater use of health care resources.
METHODS - We examined all patients in The Society of Thoracic Surgeons General Thoracic Surgery database with primary lung cancer who underwent lobectomy from 2006 to 2010. We investigated the impact of body mass index (BMI) on total operating room time using a linear mixed-effects regression model and multiple imputations to account for missing data. Secondary outcomes included postoperative length of stay and 30-day mortality. Covariates included age, sex, race, forced expiratory volume, smoking status, Zubrod score, prior chemotherapy or radiation, steroid use, number of comorbidities, surgical approach, hospital lobectomy volume, hospital percent obesity, and the addition of mediastinoscopy or wedge resection.
RESULTS - A total of 19,337 patients were included. The mean BMI was 27.3 kg/m2, with 4,898 patients (25.3%) having a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater. The mean total operating room time, length of stay, and 30-day mortality were 240 minutes, 6.7 days, and 1.8%, respectively. For every 10-unit increase in BMI, mean operating room time increased by 7.2 minutes (range, 4.8 to 8.4 minutes; p<0.0001). Higher hospital lobectomy volume and hospital percentage of obese patients did not affect the association between BMI and operative time. Body mass index was not associated with 30-day mortality or increased length of stay.
CONCLUSIONS - Increased BMI is associated with increased total operating room time, regardless of institutional experience with obese patients.
Copyright © 2012 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.