Table of Contents
ISRN Obesity
Volume 2014, Article ID 638936, 13 pages
Review Article

Obesity and Surgical Wound Healing: A Current Review

1Institute for Tissue Regeneration, Repair & Rehabilitation, Bay Pines VA Health Care System, Bay Pines, FL 33744, USA
2Division of Plastic Surgery, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA

Received 29 September 2013; Accepted 17 November 2013; Published 20 February 2014

Academic Editors: K. Abberton, K. C. Huang, and U. J. Magalang

Copyright © 2014 Yvonne N. Pierpont et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The correlation between obesity and deficient wound healing has long been established. This review examines the current literature on the mechanisms involved in obesity-related perioperative morbidity. Methods. A literature search was performed using Medline, PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Internet searches. Keywords used include obesity, wound healing, adipose healing, and bariatric and surgical complications. Results. Substantial evidence exists demonstrating that obesity is associated with a number of postoperative complications. Specifically in relation to wound healing, explanations include inherent anatomic features of adipose tissue, vascular insufficiencies, cellular and composition modifications, oxidative stress, alterations in immune mediators, and nutritional deficiencies. Most recently, advances made in the field of gene array have allowed researchers to determine a few plausible alterations and deficiencies in obese individuals that contribute to their increased risk of morbidity and mortality, especially wound complications. Conclusion. While the literature discusses how obesity may negatively affect health on various of medical fronts, there is yet to be a comprehensive study detailing all the mechanisms involved in obesity-related morbidities in their entirety. Improved knowledge and understanding of obesity-induced physiological, cellular, molecular, and chemical changes will facilitate better assessments of surgical risks and outcomes and create efficient treatment protocols for improved patient care of the obese patient population.