The anaesthesiologist is an important part of the bariatric team, and issues unique to the obese patient are the primary focus when the patient is being preoperatively assessed. The body systems affected by morbid obesity, include, but are not limited to, the cardiorespiratory, endocrine and airway. Sleep apnoea is prevalent in morbidly obese patients.
An anaesthetist, experienced in managing bariatric surgery patients, develops an adequate plan for preoperative screening, intraoperative management and an adequate postoperative pain treatment regime.
Challenges for the anaesthesiologist in these cases are difficult intravenous access, airway management, patient transfer, and adequate drug dosing. The preoperative assessment is important to risk stratify the obese patient to mitigate some of these challenges.