published Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Ask a doctor

Q: What aspects of obesity contribute to surgical risk in children?

A: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 9 million American children are overweight or obese. We discussed two of the three aspects of surgical risk as it pertains to obesity in children last week, and we'll mention one more this week. Obese children are more likely to have problems during surgery. They are more likely to be admitted to the hospital and have a longer duration of stay. They have an increased rate of postoperative complications, including wound infections and postoperative pneumonia. Complex pediatric surgical care, including the management of the obese patient, can be best managed by specialists trained in the care of the pediatric patient.

-- Dr. Lisa A. Smith, pediatric surgeon, Universal Surgical Associates

Readers: To submit an obesity-related question for a medical doctor, e-mail it to Clint Cooper at See this space each week for answers.

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