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Perioperative Management of Patients with Parkinson's Disease

Published:December 12, 2013DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.11.014

      Abstract

      Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease worldwide, leading to a wide range of disability and medical complications. Managing patients with Parkinson's disease in the perioperative hospital setting can be particularly challenging. Suboptimal management can lead to medical complications, prolonged hospital stays, and delayed recovery. This review aims to address the most important issues related to caring for patients with Parkinson's disease perioperatively who are undergoing emergent or planned general surgery. It also intends to help hospitalists, internists, and other health care providers mitigate potential in-hospital morbidity and prevent prolonged recovery. Challenges in managing patients with Parkinson's disease in the perioperative hospital setting include disruption of medication schedules, “nothing by mouth” status, reduced mobility, and medication interactions and their side effects. Patients with Parkinson's disease are more prone to immobility and developing dysphagia, respiratory dysfunction, urinary retention, and psychiatric symptoms. These issues lead to higher rates of pneumonia, urinary tract infections, deconditioning, and falls compared with patients without Parkinson's disease, as well as prolonged hospital stays and a greater need for post-hospitalization rehabilitation. Steps can be taken to decrease these complications, including minimizing nothing by mouth status duration, using alternative routes of drugs administration when unable to give medications orally, avoiding drug interactions and medications that can worsen parkinsonism, assessing swallowing ability frequently, encouraging incentive spirometry, performing bladder scans, avoiding Foley catheters, and providing aggressive physical therapy. Knowing and anticipating these potential complications allow hospital physicians to mitigate nosocomial morbidity and shorten recovery times and hospital stays.

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