Often asked: What Causes An Increased Risk For Postoperative Atelectasis In An Elderly Patient?

Surgery: Having surgery is a major risk factor for having atelectasis. 1 There are two primary reasons for this: the being on a ventilator during surgery and the inability to cough to clear the lungs while under anesthesia.

Why is the post operative patient at risk for atelectasis?

General anesthesia is a common cause of atelectasis. It changes your regular pattern of breathing and affects the exchange of lung gases, which can cause the air sacs (alveoli) to deflate. Nearly everyone who has major surgery develops some amount of atelectasis. It often occurs after heart bypass surgery.

Which of the following procedures produces the highest risk of atelectasis?

[5] Atelectasis is more prominent after cardiac surgery with cardio-pulmonary bypass than after other types of surgery, including thoracotomies; however, patients undergoing abdominal and/or thoracic procedures are at increased risk of developing atelectasis.

What causes atelectasis?

Atelectasis, the collapse of part or all of a lung, is caused by a blockage of the air passages (bronchus or bronchioles) or by pressure on the lung. Risk factors for atelectasis include anesthesia, prolonged bed rest with few changes in position, shallow breathing and underlying lung disease.

How can post op atelectasis be prevented?

Can atelectasis be prevented? Deep breathing exercises and coughing after surgery can reduce your risk of developing atelectasis. If you smoke, you can lower your risk of developing the condition by quitting smoking before any operation.

How do you increase atelectasis?


  1. Performing deep-breathing exercises (incentive spirometry) and using a device to assist with deep coughing may help remove secretions and increase lung volume.
  2. Positioning your body so that your head is lower than your chest (postural drainage).
  3. Tapping on your chest over the collapsed area to loosen mucus.
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What are the postoperative complications?

What complications may occur after surgery?

  • Shock.
  • Hemorrhage.
  • Wound infection.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).
  • Pulmonary embolism.
  • Lung (pulmonary) complications.
  • Urinary retention.
  • Reaction to anesthesia.

Who is at risk for atelectasis?

You may be at higher risk of atelectasis if you smoke or have other conditions, including obesity, sleep apnea, or lung diseases such as asthma, COPD, or cystic fibrosis. You are also at higher risk if you recently had surgery.

Which type of surgery is most likely to predispose a patient to postoperative atelectasis pneumonia or respiratory failure?

Surgical factors Abdominal and thoracic and head and neck surgeries are the most likely to interfere with respiratory function and are strongly linked to PPCs, particularly in the context of tissue trauma, fluid shifts, and blood transfusion.

What is pneumoconiosis caused by?

The pneumoconioses are a group of interstitial lung diseases caused by the inhalation of certain dusts and the lung tissue’s reaction to the dust. The principal cause of the pneumoconioses is work-place exposure; environmental exposures have rarely given rise to these diseases.

When does atelectasis occur after surgery?

Most cases seen are in the post-operative period, typically developing within 24 hours of surgical intervention. Figure 1 – Histological slide showing the airway collapse (left) seen in atelectasis.

What are the three types of atelectasis?

There are three major types of atelectasis: adhesive, compressive, and obstructive.

Which type of atelectasis is the most common?

Obstructive atelectasis is the most common type and results from reabsorption of gas from the alveoli when communication between the alveoli and the trachea is obstructed. The obstruction can occur at the level of the larger or smaller bronchus.

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What is postoperative atelectasis?

Atelectasis is a common postoperative complication and should be suspected whenever elevations of temperature, pulse rate and respiratory rate develop in a patient shortly after operation. Generally it is due to either bronchial obstruction with distal gas absorption or to hypoventilation.

What is the management of postoperative atelectasis?

Postoperative atelectasis is treated with adequate oxygenation and re-expansion of the lung segments. Supplemental oxygen should be titrated to achieve an arterial oxygen saturation of greater than 90%. Severe hypoxemia associated with severe respiratory distress should lead to intubation and mechanical support.

Which specific group of postoperative patients is at highest risk of developing atelectasis?

Definition. There are various definitions available in the literature: Respiratory complications that occur within 48–72 h following surgery[3] Conditions affecting the respiratory tract that can adversely influence clinical course of the patient after surgery[4]

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