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Obesity and Anesthesia – Pre-Surgery

July 26, 2021


Depending on what type of procedure you’re undergoing, the anesthesiologist and surgeon will discuss the best anesthetic approach. Safety of our patients is of the utmost importance, and a lot of thought is placed into selecting the right anesthetic. Sedation in combination with local anesthesia and / or regional anesthesia can be a good choice to minimize airway interferences in obese patients. However, many surgeries require general anesthesia with the insertion of a breathing tube, and special considerations are in place to facilitate this in obese or morbidly obese patients safely. Because of the risk of apnea after surgery, your anesthesiologist might wait to take the breathing tube out until you’re wide awake. You might remember that, and that’s okay. It’s not painful, but it is important that your breathing is pretty much back to normal with all your reflexes intact before taking the breathing tube out to avoid complications from apnea. Your anesthesiologist might also choose to wake you up and put your C-PAP on right away. Hence the request to bring your own C-PAP machine on the day of surgery. If you usually do not use a C-PAP machine, but your anesthesiologist finds this to be necessary after surgery, a respiratory therapist will assist and provide a hospital-based C-PAP machine for you.

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