Less risks: Heart operations in the afternoon are much easier

Cardiac surgery is best done in the afternoon

According to a recent study from France, heart surgery works best in the afternoon. As the doctors at the University of Lille report, the risk of serious complications at this time of day is significantly lower. The reduced danger is due to the human biorhythm.

Complications from cardiac surgery

In recent years, cardiac surgery has repeatedly led to fatal infections worldwide, some of which have become life-threatening. Scientists have now found that the infections occurred as a result of contaminated devices. But even if cardiac surgery is done at the wrong time of day, complications can arise. This is what doctors from France have now found out.

Carry out surgery in the afternoon

Cardiac surgery care in Germany is generally considered to be very good, but many cardiac surgeries are performed in Germany due to financial interests, criticize consumer advocates.

Cardiac operations are also performed at the university hospital in Lille, northern France. University doctors now report in a study published in "The Lancet" that such interventions work better in the afternoon.

According to the cardiologists, the risk of serious complications at this time of day is only half as great for the patients.

The internal clock and the heart rhythm

This is due to the human biorhythm. One of the people responsible for the study, Bart Staels from Lille University Hospital, said in a message from the APA news agency:

"The time of day and thus the internal clock and the heart rhythm influence a patient's reaction to the operation."

The risk of immediate serious complications therefore drops in an afternoon operation from 18.1 percent to 9.4 percent.

Increased risk of stroke

According to the information, the connection is caused by a protein called Rev-erb alpha, which occurs increasingly in the body in the morning.

Tests on mice have shown that this "clock protein" ensures that the body is less able to process circulatory disorders, so-called ischemia.

Because the heart has to be temporarily stopped during an operation, the procedure increases the risk of stroke or other complications in the morning, the study says.

According to the scientists, it is therefore better to operate in the afternoon, even if this could cause "logistical difficulties" in some hospitals.

According to the experts, the development of a drug that limits the effectiveness of the protein is also an alternative.

To arrive at their results, the researchers from Lille observed around 600 patients. Now further studies are needed to confirm the findings of the study. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Heart Surgery: Standing on the shoulders of giants. David DAlessandro. TEDxBeaconStreet (December 2021).