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Anaesthesia for major abdominal surgery in the elderly 

Anaesthesia for major abdominal surgery in the elderly
Anaesthesia for major abdominal surgery in the elderly

Chris Dodds

, Chandra M. Kumar

, and Frédérique Servin

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date: 28 November 2021

Major abdominal surgery and laparotomy are common procedures that are associated with a high risk of mortality and morbidity, especially in the elderly. Outcomes can be improved by formal risk stratification, appropriate perioperative resuscitation and optimization, early surgery, senior anaesthetist involvement, and careful postoperative critical. Assessment of dehydration is imperative because fluid losses are very common and may be difficult to measure. Hypothermia is common, and measures should be instituted to conserve heat loss. Use of nitrous oxide can cause bowel distension and should be avoided. Elderly patients should receive postoperative care in an environment that is appropriate to the degree of comorbidity and the type of surgery. Effective analgesia is known to improve outcome. Only experienced anaesthetists should manage major and emergency abdominal surgery.

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