7. Upper Airway Management in the Morbidly Obese Patient

  1. Ali A. El Solh MD, MPH2,3,4
  1. Michael Tielborg MD, MSc and
  2. Anthony Passannante MD

Published Online: 19 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119962083.ch7

Critical Care Management of the Obese Patient

Critical Care Management of the Obese Patient

How to Cite

Tielborg, M. and Passannante, A. (2012) Upper Airway Management in the Morbidly Obese Patient, in Critical Care Management of the Obese Patient (ed A. A. El Solh), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119962083.ch7

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, USA

  2. 3

    Critical Care Western New York Healthcare System, USA

  3. 4

    Western New York Respiratory Research Center Buffalo, NY, USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Anesthesiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 APR 2012
  2. Published Print: 16 APR 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470655900

Online ISBN: 9781119962083

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Keywords:

  • Obesity;
  • Morbid obesity;
  • Elevated BMI;
  • Airway management;
  • Difficult airway;
  • Awake fiberoptic intubation;
  • Difficult mask ventilation

Summary

Conventional medical wisdom considers obesity and difficult airway management to be correlated. Recent investigations have challenged this assumption, identifying a host of patient characteristics potentially, but not necessarily, associated with elevated BMI that correlate with difficult laryngoscopy and difficult mask ventilation. Physiological and anatomical changes associated with morbid obesity, in combination with other patient factors, may nevertheless make the management of the upper airway more challenging. This chapter reviews the literature surrounding this topic and describes specific strategies for managing the airway in this population.