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Vol 11, No 4 (2005)
Review paper
Published online: 2005-11-20

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The diversity of patient preparation and anesthesia for open abdominal surgery - a literature review

Ewa Trejnowska, Antonia Buchowiecka, Jan Skóra, Andrzej T. Dorobisz
Acta Angiologica 2005;11(4):189-203.


Implantation of a vascular prosthesis is the therapy of choice in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms and in patients with atheromatous lesions either occluding the lumen of the aorta and iliac arteries or substantially narrowing it. Epidemiologic studies show an increasing number of patients with aneurysms of the abdominal aorta below the renal arteries. This results from more profound diagnostic methods on one hand, and on the other - from the ageing of the population. Patients undergoing routine abdominal aortic surgery often present myocardial ischemic disease, past myocardial infarctions, arterial hypertension, impaired pulmonary gas exchange, diabetes and cerebral vessels insufficiency. Therefore, planned for the heaviest vascular surgery, they belong to the group at greatest operative risk. The aim of this thesis was to show the present stateof- the-art of clamping and releasing the clamp in the abdominal part of the aorta, the impact of the occlusion on life-sustaining organs and procedures aimed at minimization of haemodynamic changes occurring during the most overburdening phases of the surgery. The crucial role of proper preoperative procedures is stressed, including cardiologic diagnostics up to coronarography when reasonable, as well as optimization of the patient’s condition before surgery. The authors present general principles of anaesthesia in this kind of surgery considering up to date knowledge about the benefits of combined general and epidural anaesthesia compared to sole general anaesthesia, appropriate pain control, adequate fluids dosing as well as monitoring during the postoperative period. The importance of cooperation within a multidisciplinary team, consisting of a surgeon, anaesthetist, cardiologist and, when necessary, nephrologist or neurologist, is stressed.

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