The era of the acute care surgeon has arrived and this "new" specialty will be expected to provide trauma care, emergency surgery, and surgical critical care to a variety of patients arriving at their institution. With the exception of practicing bariatric surgeons, many general surgeons have limited experience caring for obese patients. Obese patients manifest unique physiology and pathophysiology, which can influence a surgeon's decision-making process. Following trauma, obese patients sustain different injuries than lean patients and have worse outcomes. Emergency surgery diseases may be difficult to diagnose in the obese patient and obesity is associated with increased complications in the postoperative patient. Caring for an obese patient in the surgical ICU presents a distinctive challenge and may require alterations in care. The following review should act as an overview of the pathophysiology of obesity and how obesity modifies the care of trauma, emergency surgery, and surgical critical care patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine