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News / March 5, 2014

Extracting teeth before heart surgery a risk

by Guy Hiscott

Dental extractions before heart surgery may increase the risk of serious illnesses, a US study shows.

In the study of 205 patients, 8% experienced severe reactions within 30 days of tooth removal or until cardiac surgery was performed.

The outcomes were noted as death, bleeding, acute coronary syndromes, cerebrovascular accident, transient ischamic attack and renal failure requiring dialysis.

Researchers reported that 6% of patients died within 30 days of having a tooth removed, with 3% of these deaths occurring before and 3% after the cardiac procedure.

The median time between tooth removal and cardiac surgery was seven days ¬- 80% of participants were men.

The researchers said: ‘The prevalence of major adverse events should advise physicians to evaluate the individualised risk of anaesthesia and surgical procedures in this population.’

Senior author of the study, Kendra Grim, added: ‘In the meantime, we recommend an individualised approach for these patients, to weigh their particular risk and benefit of a dental procedure before cardiac surgery with the information we have currently available.’

The research was conducted by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

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