General anesthesia in morbidly obese patients. Some late considerations

Hippokratia 2003, 7(1):12-21

K Spanopoulos
1st Anesthesiology Dpt, Hippokratio General Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece


Obesity is the condition of excessive body fat which results to severe respiratory and cardiovascular complications.General anesthesia compounds signif icantly impair most of these problems so preoperative assessment should be very careful and detailed.Induction of anesthesia is likely to be a particularly hazardous time for these patients with an increased risk of difficult or failed intubation.Anesthesia add signif icantly to the derangement of gas exchange and lung volumes.Postoperative ventilation is more likely to be required in these patient and after surgery they should be recovered in the intensive care unit.Morbid obesity is also associated with cardiovascular problems such as ischemic heart disease,hypertension,cardiac failure,arrhythmias and thromboembolic disease. Given the high probability of underling cardiorespiratory impairment, obese patients should be considered as high risk patients in both surgery room and the intensive care unit.