Published: Mon, October 30, 2017
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Open heart surgeries in the AFTERNOON are more SUCCESSFUL, say experts

Open heart surgeries in the AFTERNOON are more SUCCESSFUL, say experts

Dr John O'Neill, from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, added that it's not surprising that our hearts might be better able to cope with afternoon surgery.

A review by French researchers of almost 600 people who underwent heart valve replacements, found that people who had morning operations were twice as likely to suffer a major cardiac event, in the following 500 days.

This suggests that the heart is subject to the body's circadian clock, and the surgical outcomes reflect the heart's poorer ability to fix in the morning than in the afternoon, researchers said.

Experts agree that the body's biological clock, known as the circadian rhythm, affects how well people recover from heart surgery.

He said the researchers had gone to great lengths to rule out differences in individual surgeons skills that might impact the outcomes of the surgeries studied, and said the differences were also not due to some surgeons simply not being "morning people".

In the 500 days after surgery, a total of 54 out of 298 morning patients (18%) experienced a "major cardiac event" such as heart attack or heart failure.

The circadian rhythm is the body's 24-hour internal clock, governing various cycles and behaviors such as our sleep and waking patterns, body temperature, and even athletic prowess throughout the day-to-night cycle.

When disrupted - as with jetlag - repeatedly over long periods, it can aggravate depression, bipolar disorder, cognitive function, and memory formation, research has shown.

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The new study unfolded in four steps.

Although hospitals can hardly eliminate morning surgery altogether, the authors suggest that patients with complicating conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes be prioritized for afternoon operations. Their findings revealed not only did the tissue from the afternoon group show less damage and fix more quickly, but that multiple genes linked to circadian rhythms were more active in the afternoon group, which shows the heart is also influenced by our body clocks.

Not only did tissue from the afternoon group show less damage, it also regained the ability to contract more quickly in lab tests that mimicked the heart refilling with blood.

Nobody wants to have open heart surgery.

"Just like every other cell in the body, heart cells have circadian rhythms that orchestrate their activity to anticipate the external rhythm of night and day", he said.

One of the most obvious questions, which the researchers have already discounted is, if the body clock affects the heart, then perhaps the surgeons are also affected?

Prof Staels said: "We believe we have identified a potential way to circumvent the disturbing observation that operations in the morning lead to more complications".

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