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Preoperative testing and risk assessment: perspectives on patient selection in ambulatory anesthetic procedures

Authors Stierer TL, Collop NA

Received 17 November 2014

Accepted for publication 3 February 2015

Published 5 August 2015 Volume 2015:2 Pages 67—77

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AA.S59819

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Gildasio S De Oliveira Jr.

Tracey L Stierer,1,2 Nancy A Collop3,4

1Department of Anesthesiology, 2Department of Critical Care Medicine, Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA; 3Department of Medicine, 4Department of Neurology, Emory University, Emory Sleep Center, Wesley Woods Center, Atlanta, GA, USA

Abstract: With recent advances in surgical and anesthetic technique, there has been a growing emphasis on the delivery of care to patients undergoing ambulatory procedures of increasing complexity. Appropriate patient selection and meticulous preparation are vital to the provision of a safe, quality perioperative experience. It is not unusual for patients with complex medical histories and substantial systemic disease to be scheduled for discharge on the same day as their surgical procedure. The trend to “push the envelope” by triaging progressively sicker patients to ambulatory surgical facilities has resulted in a number of challenges for the anesthesia provider who will assume their care. It is well known that certain patient diseases are associated with increased perioperative risk. It is therefore important to define clinical factors that warrant more extensive testing of the patient and medical conditions that present a prohibitive risk for an adverse outcome. The preoperative assessment is an opportunity for the anesthesia provider to determine the status and stability of the patient’s health, provide preoperative education and instructions, and offer support and reassurance to the patient and the patient’s family members. Communication between the surgeon/proceduralist and the anesthesia provider is critical in achieving optimal outcome. A multifaceted approach is required when considering whether a specific patient will be best served having their procedure on an outpatient basis. Not only should the patient's comorbidities be stable and optimized, but details regarding the planned procedure and the resources available at the facility also should be ascertained. Equally important to outcome are the resources and support available to the patient during their recovery after they have been discharged from the facility. This article reviews appropriate patient and procedure selection, based on elements of preoperative history and physical examination, supporting testing, and risk assessment.

Keywords: ambulatory, sleep apnea, preoperative, surgery, anesthesia

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