Spectrum of postoperative complications in pulmonary hypertension and obesity hypoventilation syndrome

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The purpose of this review is to identify chronic pulmonary conditions which may often not be recognized preoperatively especially before elective noncardiac surgery and which carry the highest risk of perioperative morbidity and mortality.

Recent findings

This review discusses some of the most recent studies that highlight the perioperative complications, and their prevention and management strategies.

Summary

Pulmonary hypertension is a well recognized risk factor for postoperative complications after cardiac surgery but the literature surrounding noncardiac surgery is sparse. Pulmonary hypertension was only recently classified as an independent risk factor for postoperative complications in the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation Practice Guideline for noncardiac surgery. Spinal anesthesia should be avoided in most surgeries on patients with pulmonary hypertension because of it's rapid sympatholytic effects. The presence of significant right ventricle dysfunction and marked hypoxemia should prompt re-evaluation of the need for elective surgery. Obesity hypoventilation syndrome is even harder to recognize preoperatively as arterial blood gases are generally not obtained prior to elective noncardiac surgery. Amongst patients with obstructive sleep apnea this group of patients carries much higher risk of postoperative respiratory and congestive heart failure.

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