Year : 2022  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 287-298

Preoperative preparation and premedication of bariatric surgical patient

1 Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, United States
2 International Society for the Care of the Obese Patient, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, United States

Correspondence Address:
Rainer Lenhardt
530 South Jackson St, Louisville, KY - 40202
United States
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sja.sja_140_22

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The prevalence of obesity has tripled worldwide over the past four decades. The United States has the highest rates of obesity, with 88% of the population being overweight and 36% obese. The UK has the sixth highest prevalence of obesity. The problem of obesity is not isolated to the developed world and has increasingly become an issue in the developing world as well. Obesity carries an increased risk of many serious diseases and health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, and certain cancers. Our ability to take care of this population safely throughout the perioperative period begins with a thorough and in-depth preoperative assessment and meticulous preparation. The preoperative assessment begins with being able to identify patients who suffer from obesity by using diagnostic criteria and, furthermore, being able to identify patients whose obesity is causing pathologic and physiologic changes. A detailed and thorough anesthesia assessment should be performed, and the anesthesia plan individualized and tailored to the specific patient's risk factors and comorbidities. The important components of the preoperative anesthesia assessment and patient preparation in the patient suffering from obesity include history and physical examination, airway assessment, medical comorbidities evaluation, functional status determination, risk assessment, preoperative testing, current weight loss medication, and review of any prior weight loss surgeries and their implications on the upcoming anesthetic. The preoperative evaluation of this population should occur with sufficient time before the planned operation to allow for modifications of the preoperative management without needing to delay surgery as the perioperative management of patients suffering from obesity presents significant practical and organizational challenges.

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