Body Clock affects the success of surgeries

According to recent research, the probability of effective heart surgeries increases during specific times of the day

Body Clock affects the success of surgeries 

Leer en Español:Reloj biológico afecta el éxito de las cirugías

This year’s Laureates, Michael W. Young, Michael Rosbash, and Jeffrey C. Hall, were awarded the Nobel Prize of Medicine due to their discovery of the behavior of the Body Clock. These three scientists exposed how the circadian cycle works in plants, animals, and humans and how it synchronizes with the Earth’s rotation. Among the aspects linked are hormonal levels, corporal temperature, and the metabolism.  

The body clock and its influence in surgeries

A recent investigation published in The Lancet journal suggested that the Body Clock can also affect the success of a surgery. The research assured that the heart is stronger and better able to withstand a surgical procedure during the afternoon than in the morning.

Read Also: Nobel prize for medicine awarded for investigation on the internal biological clock

Doctors from the cardiovascular surgery department in Lille University Hospital in France studied all the patients that arrived in the hopes to receive medical attention due to heart complications. They found that during the 500 days following aortic valve replacement, the incidence of major adverse cardiac events where lower in the afternoon surgery group than in those belonging to the morning set. The investigation doesn't take into consideration the emotional state or tiredness of the surgeons, but rather just the patient’s heart health.

Research showed that 18% of the morning patients suffered from adverse events, compared to only 9.39% of the afternoon patients

During this type of procedure, doctors need to stop the heart to operate it adequately, which means a reduction of oxygen flow into the organ. This puts the heart under stress possibly causing heart attacks, heart failure, or even death post-surgery.

The researchers explained that this new discovery can benefit patients considered high- risks, like those with type 2 diabetes or who are obese. Professor Bart Staels, from the Institut Pasteur de Lille, assured that it will be impossible to operate every patient after lunch, but knowing the benefits of working with the Body Clock can benefit humanity.

Professor Staels: this discovery can help high-risk patients by increasing their possibilities of surgical success

"We don't want to frighten people from having surgery - it's lifesaving (...) If we can identify patients at highest risk, they will definitely benefit from being pushed into the afternoon and that would be reasonable", assured Professor Staels to the BBC.


Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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