Surgery, whether bariatric or not, puts this population at risk. Review the basics of prevention and care.
Overview: The number of surgical patients who are obese in the United States is rising, a trend that's likely to continue. Such patients are at higher risk than nonobese patients are for surgical site infections and other complications such as dehiscence, pressure ulcers, deep tissue injury, and rhabdomyolysis. This article details the factors that can contribute to such complications, including a high number of comorbidities, and offers practical suggestions for preventing them. Nurses should understand that special equipment, precautions, and protocols may be needed at every stage of care, and that obese patients aren't anomalies but rather a part of a growing population with particular needs.