Somatic Complications of Alcoholism in the Surgical Patient

Dragos F. Voicu, Alexandru Bogdan Ciubara, Dorina Stan, Anamaria Ciubara


Background. Alcoholism is a public health problem. Chronic ethanol consumption determines physiological and morphological changes, reflected by an abnormal response to regular medication and nutrients, with consequences on the efficiency of anesthesia and the surgical act.

Material and methods. A retrospective study was conducted on the latest 1750 cases (2016-2018), hospitalized and operated, in which the preoperative identification of alcohol abuse was made by dosing biochemical markers (gamma-glutamyl transferase, poor carbohydrate transferrin and medium erythrocytic corpuscular volume), by standard questionnaires and, of course, by preanesthetic exam.

Results and discussions. The study showed a rate of 8% (140 cases) of alcohol abuse among these surgical patients. The paper reviews the somatic complications of alcoholism: neurological, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, metabolic, hematological, immunological and hormonal, and discusses the effectiveness of the study method.

Conclusions. It is proposed to implement a preoperative identification protocol for patients with alcoholism to prevent postoperative withdrawal.


alcoholism; surgical patient

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