Purpose: Patients with myelodysplasia often have urological pathology, with 25% to 40% requiring reconstructive procedures to achieve urinary and/or fecal continence. Complication rates from these major reconstructive procedures range between 10% and 50%. Additionally many of these patients have significant comorbidities, including a nonambulatory status that leads to an increased body mass index. It is currently unknown whether a high body mass index is associated with increased surgical complications. In this study we compare body mass index and postoperative complications.
Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed the charts of all patients with myelodysplasia undergoing urinary or fecal reconstructive procedures. We analyzed data for body mass index and any documented complication occurring during hospitalization or at any time during followup. Patients were categorized based on body mass index as normal weight (less than 85th percentile), overweight (85th to 95th percentile) or obese (greater than 95th percentile). Statistical analyses using chi-square and Fisher's exact tests were then performed.
Results: Reconstructive procedures were carried out in 66 patients with myelodysplasia between 1997 and 2005. A total of 48 bladder augmentations were performed with a total of 101 stomas created. Mean followup was 39 months. Height and weight were available for body mass index calculation in 60 patients. Obesity was common in our patients with myelodysplasia, affecting 33% of the population (20 of 60 patients). We found a total of 53 complications in 31 patients (52%). There was a significant association between presence of complications and weight category, with complications occurring in 40% of normal weight, 40% of overweight and 75% of obese patients (p = 0.0380). An association between stomal stenosis and weight category was also found (p = 0.0373). In addition, multiple complications were more prevalent in obese patients. Of the 15 patients (25%) with 2 or more complications 10 (67%) were obese (p = 0.0066).
Conclusions: Patients with myelodysplasia have a high incidence of obesity. Since obesity is associated with a higher complication rate, weight loss programs are highly recommended for obese patients with myelodysplasia before and after any reconstructive surgery.