Cannabis users had worse bypass outcomes, increased amputation and opioid use, study shows
Cannabis users who underwent bypass surgery were more likely to have poor surgical outcomes and increased rates of postoperative complications, researchers reported in a new study.
They were also more likely to require an amputation or develop an addiction to opioids.
The study, which appears in the journal JAMA Surgery, is the first to comprehensively evaluate the impact of cannabis use on patients undergoing cardiovascular surgery.
Cannabis is the most commonly used recreational drug in the world, and its use is growing in many countries.
In the United States, the legal status of cannabis is complex, with federal law prohibiting its use, but many states permitting it for medical or recreational purposes.
The new study included 1,189 patients who underwent bypass surgery at a single center between January 2015 and December 2017.
Of those, 8 percent reported using cannabis in the past year.
Patients who used cannabis were more likely to be younger, male, and have a history of smoking and other drug use.
After adjusting for other factors, the researchers found that patients who used cannabis were more than twice as likely to have a poor surgical outcome, defined as death, stroke, or re-admission to the hospital within 30 days of surgery.
They were also more than three times as likely to require an amputation, and nearly seven times as likely to develop an addiction to opioids.
“Cannabis use is increasing globally, and our findings have important implications for patients, surgeons, and policy-makers,” said lead author Dr. Michael Robinson, a cardiothoracic surgeon at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
“Our study is the first to comprehensively evaluate the impact of cannabis use on cardiovascular surgery, and the findings should be viewed in the context of the growing legalization of cannabis.”
The findings suggest that cannabis use is a risk factor for poor surgical outcomes, and that patients who use cannabis should be counseled about the potential risks before undergoing surgery, the authors said.
“Cannabis use is associated with a significantly increased risk of poor surgical outcomes and postoperative complications following bypass surgery,” they wrote.
“Patients who use cannabis should be counseled about the increased risks before surgery, and clinicians should be aware of the increased risk of postoperative complications in these patients.”
Cannabis users had worse outcomes following bypass surgery, increased amputation and opioid use, a new study has found.
The study, published in the journal Annals of Thoracic Surgery, looked at the records of 2,207 patients who had surgery to bypass a blocked artery between 2011 and 2016.
Of those, 22 percent were current cannabis users, and 11 percent were cannabis users who had quit within the past six months.
After adjusting for other factors, the study found that current cannabis users were more likely to have a stroke or die within 30 days of surgery than those who didn’t use cannabis.
They were also more likely to need a second bypass surgery or have their legs amputated.
Cannabis users were also more likely to use opioids following surgery, and they were more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days.
“Cannabis use is associated with poorer outcomes following bypass surgery,” the study’s authors conclude.
“Patients who use cannabis should be encouraged to quit prior to surgery.”