Public Health and Safety

Cannabis Use & Surgery: Post Operative Risks Increases

Patients that use cannabis and undergo a major surgery, run a 18 percent higher risk of post-operative complications to include “in hospital deaths”. These are the findings of authors Potnuru, P ( released in “JAMA Surgery” on July 5, 2023. 

Based on a study of over 12,000 post operative hospitalizations, from 2016 – 2019, researchers found that those with a Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) had a greater frequency (7.7%) of perioperative complications when compared to those who do not consume cannabis (6.5%). A difference of 18.4% higher for those with a CUD.

Of the 12,422 cases examined, nearly half (N=6,211) of those were persons with a CUD. This group ran a greater risk of morbidity & mortality issues such as cardiac conditions, strokes, infections, kidney failure and other complications. Researchers call for more research into the area of CUD and post-operative complications to gain a better understanding of the issue. They also note that pre-operative patient screening for cannabis use should be included as part of a risk management tool.

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Photo:, J.