The prevalence of obesity is rapidly increasing throughout the world. Correspondingly, anesthetic procedures in obese patients are also increasing due to both treatment of obesity and other surgical problems of obese patients. Anesthesia-related complications are also seen in obese patients than in normal-weighted population. The importance of anesthetic applications in obese patients originates from physiological and pharmacokinetic alterations. Inhalation of these patients via mask or intubation during general anesthesia may be difficult or even impossible. Determination of extubation time after awakening from anesthesia is also a critical decision. Sleep apnea syndrome and postoperative atelectasis are more common in obese patients than in normal-weighted population. Another vital complication that should be emphasized is thromboembolism, whose incidence and severity may be decreased by pharmacological and functional preventive modalities. This patient population has elevated risk of perioperative mortality and morbidity. Prior to any elective surgical procedure, an obese patient should be thoroughly evaluated to check medical conditions that may increase perioperative mortality risk. Since anesthesiologists will gradually encounter more obese patients, they need a better comprehending of the difficulties of obesity during anesthetic procedures and taking more preventive measures for their patients to avoid complications, or rendering them less traumatic, if any.
Part of the book: Current Topics in Anesthesiology