Pre-Surgery Stress Linked to Signs of Slow Wound Healing
Libraries
Medical News Keywords
WOUNDS HEALING STRESS SURGERY NEW ZEALAND
Contact Information

Available for logged-in reporters only
Description

From almost the moment a wound is opened, the body's healing agents speed to the scene to begin repairs. But new research on surgical patients suggests that stress can hinder this process, possibly contributing to a slower and more painful recovery.



Newswise - From almost the moment a wound is opened, the body's healing agents speed to the scene to begin repairs. But new research on surgical patients suggests that stress can hinder this process, possibly contributing to a slower and more painful recovery.

Stress related to the surgery itself, rather than general stress or anxiety, seem to be the culprit, say Keith J. Petrie, Ph.D., of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and colleagues in the September/October issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.

Patients who were worried about the surgery beforehand were also more likely to say that their recovery was slow and painful, the researchers found.

"The study suggests that interventions designed to reduce pre-surgical stress, which have previously been found to shorten length of hospital stay and to reduce postoperative complications, pain and distress, may also improve wound repair," Petrie says.

The researchers examined the levels of several repair proteins in wound fluid drained from a small group of hernia patients after their operations, including inflammatory proteins that recruit clean-up cells to the site and enzymes that chew up damaged tissue to make way for new growth.

Patients who said they were stressed before the operation had significantly lower levels of the inflammatory protein interleukin-1 in their wound fluid. Those who were specifically worried about the operation had lower levels of the enzyme MMP-9, the researchers found.

The study is the first to examine the effects of stress on wound healing in clinical settings, according to Petrie and colleagues.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

© 2003 Newswise. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/501610/