This chapter discusses the most important challenges in the perioperative phase of the oncology patient undergoing surgery of the gastrointestinal tract. Because of the aging population, the surgeon is ever more confronted with frail patients at risk for an adverse surgical outcome. The chapter therefore reviews factors contributing to an impaired postoperative outcome such as sarcopenia, frailty, cachexia, and malnutrition and gives an insight into their pathophysiology. Next, it provides an overview of validated preoperative classification systems to identify the patients at risk for surgical complications. Furthermore, it discusses the most essential recommendations of standardized care for patients undergoing hepatopancreaticobiliary, gastric, and colorectal surgery. Special attention is paid to the use of clinical pathways in the perioperative phase that are aimed at a multimodal approach of reducing surgical morbidity by lowering the perioperative physiological and psychological stress. Recent literature is discussed regarding care in the intensive care unit, and the final paragraph focuses on improving postoperative outcome by means of prehabilitation or exercise as well as dietary interventions and optimized nutrition.
Part of the book: Oncology Critical Care