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Recovery and post-operative care 

Recovery and post-operative care
Recovery and post-operative care

Mark Bellamy

and Michel Struys

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date: 23 July 2018

Emergence from anaesthesia carries significant risks for the morbidly obese.

There is a significant risk of hypoxia and loss of control of the airway during the transition from stable anaesthesia to the awake state.

The anaesthetic technique deployed should be consistent with rapid emergence from anaesthesia and good early airway control.

Measures of early recovery suggest more rapid emergence from anaesthesia in desflurane-treated patients, but differences have largely disappeared by the time the patient leaves the recovery room.

A multimodality approach to post-operative analgesia affords good pain relief with least risk of drug side-effects.

Post-operative intravenous opioids can result in poor post-operative respiratory function.

Regional anaesthetic techniques can be used for post-operative pain – success can be improved by the use of ultrasound.

Thoracic epidural anaesthesia is associated with better preservation of respiratory function in the obese as compared with post-operative opiate analgesia.

Post-operatively, morbidly obese patients should be nursed an appropriate environment.

If no appropriate post-operative care facility is available, elective surgery should not proceed.

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