Gastrointestinal Complications Following Heart Surgery: An Updated Review

REVIEW, July 2011, VOL I ISSUE IV, ISSN 2042-4884
10.5083/ejcm.20424884.32 , Cite or Link Using DOI
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Dimos Karangelis, Konstantinos Oikonomou, Theocharis Koufakis, Georgios I. Tagarakis


Background and Aims:
To focus through a related literature research and the authors’ personal experience on the issue of gastrointestinal complications after heart surgery.

Methods: We included in our review article selected studies dealing with the issue of gastrointestinal complications after heart surgery.

Results: All related studies concluded to a relative small incidence for gastrointestinal complicationsafter heart surgery of about 0.5 to 1.0%. However, the overall mortality was estimated to be disproportionally high, making the impact of these postoperative pathologies a significant one.

Conclusions: Gastrointestinal complications consist a quite rare and often difficult to diagnose category of complications after heart surgery, which despite their small incidence, influence the overall mortality rate of cardiac operations. Time-sparing, meticulous performance of the operations and early diagnosis are the best measures against these complications.