A perioperative care map improves outcomes in patients with morbid obesity undergoing major surgery

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BackgroundThe surgical management of patients with morbid obesity (body mass index ≥ 40) is notable for a relatively high risk of complications. To address this problem, a perioperative care map was developed using precautions and best practices commonly employed in bariatric surgery. It requires additional medical assessments, sleep apnea surveillance, more stringent guidelines for anesthetic management, and readily available bariatric operating room equipment, among other items. This care map was implemented in 2013 at 4 major urban teaching hospitals for use in patients undergoing all types of nonambulatory surgery with a body mass index greater than 40 kg/m2. The impact on patient outcomes was evaluated.MethodsThe American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database was used to compare 30-day outcomes of morbidly obese patients before the year 2013 and after the years 2015 care-map implementation. In addition, trends in 30-day outcomes for morbidly obese patients were compared with those for non-obese patients.ResultsMorbidly obese patients, between 2013 and 2015, saw an adjusted decrease in the rate of unplanned return to the operating room (OR = 0.49; P = .039), unplanned readmission (OR = 0.57; P = .006), total duration of stay (−0.87 days; P = .009), and postoperative duration of stay (−0.69 days; P = .007). Of these, total duration of stay (−0.86 days; P = .015), and postoperative duration of stay (−0.69 days; P = .012) improved significantly more for morbidly obese patients than for nonmorbidly obese patients.ConclusionOutcomes in morbidly obese patients improved from 2013 to 2015. Implementation of a perioperative care map may have contributed to these improvements. The care map should be further investigated and considered for more widespread use.

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