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Patient Safety in the Operating Room: II. Intraoperative and Postoperative

Poore, Samuel O. M.D., Ph.D.; Sillah, Nyama M. M.D.; Mahajan, Ashish Y. M.D.; Gutowski, Karol A. M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: November 2012 - Volume 130 - Issue 5 - p 1048–1058
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318267d531
Reconstructive: Trunk: Special Topics
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Background: The perioperative environment can be hazardous to patients and providers alike. Although many risks are best addressed preoperatively, some hazards require constant attention by the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and staff in the operating room. In a previous article, the authors discussed preoperative aspects of patient safety. In this article, the authors review intraoperative and postoperative risks and techniques to decrease these risks.

Methods: The authors reviewed the literature regarding operating room safety, both primary research and secondary reviews, via multiple PubMed queries and literature searches. Topics most relevant to inpatient plastic surgery were included in the final analysis and summarized, as a full review of each topic is beyond the scope of this article.

Results: Several intraoperative and postoperative risks were identified, in addition to methods designed to decrease the incidence of those risks, complications, and other adverse events among plastic surgeons and their patients.

Conclusions: In this article covering intraoperative and postoperative hazards, the authors build upon a previous article addressing preoperative risks to patients during inpatient plastic surgery. Although neither article covers an exhaustive list of potential risks, the goal is to provide the modern plastic surgeon with the means to prevent common adverse events, as well as the tools to research new hazards.

Madison, Wis.; Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; and Glenview, Ill.

From the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin; Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Geisinger Wyoming Valley; and private practice.

Received for publication February 2, 2012; accepted May 25, 2012.

Presented at the Wisconsin Society of Plastic Surgeons Meeting, in Wausau, Wisconsin, April 1, 2011.

Disclosure: No funding was obtained or utilized for the research and writing of this article. The authors have no financial interests to declare.

Samuel O. Poore, M.D., Ph.D.; University of Wisconsin Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 600 Highland Avenue, CSC G5/361, Madison, Wis.53792-3236,

©2012American Society of Plastic Surgeons