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VA Study Finds Heavy Drinkers Take Longer to Recover after Surgery

Posted on February 19, 2016 by Disability Help Group

A recent study of male veterans undergoing surgery has doctors in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system focusing more on patient behavior prior to surgery.

More than 5,000 male veterans who underwent surgery at VA hospitals were interviewed about their drinking habits prior to their procedure. The research team recorded the veterans’ post-surgery recovery time and status, and used their reported drinking habits to place them in 1 of 2 categories: heavy drinker (4+ drinks a day) or light drinker (less than 4 drinks per day or none at all).

The results showed that the heavy drinkers spent on average a day longer in the VA hospital for recovery and 1.5 more days in ICU when compared to light drinkers. There was also a higher likelihood for heavy drinkers to return to the operating room, after their initial surgery.

The VA doctors involved in the study believe that if veterans, who are heavy drinkers, gave up alcohol for 30 days they could drastically improve their recovery times after surgery.

As the VA health care system continues to improve their services to all veterans, it is important that disabled veterans secure their right to treatment. Service-connected disabilities may qualify you for veterans’ disability benefits, which can help you obtain the treatment and care you need after service.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability representative from Disability Help Group is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veteran’s disability rights firm today – 1-(800)-800-3332.