Challenges in the Operating Room with Obese and Extremely Obese Surgical Patients


One time download – from September 2018 Issue



The specific problems associated with the safe handling and movement of obese and extremely obese perioperative patients with equipment and the need to prevent injury to patients and personnel while performing these tasks have not yet been fully addressed by the safe patient handling and movement community. This article provides a discussion of some of the unique challenges associated with caring for obese and extremely obese patients undergoing surgical procedures in the perioperative environment. Guidance is also provided for addressing some of the problems associated with the surgical positioning of patients of size. Providing care for obese and extremely obese patients in the operating room presents unique challenges that include meeting special needs for dignity and respect, addressing increased risk for pressure and positioning injury, attending to increased risk for venous thromboembolism, working with inadequate or insufficient equipment, using mechanical lifting equipment, and dealing with patient risks related to specific surgical positions.

Van Wicklan SA

Keywords: bariatric, obese, operating room (OR), perioperative, safe patient handling