Background: Rhabdomyolysis (RML) is a clinical and biochemical syndrome caused by skeletal muscle necrosis that results in extravasation of toxic intracellular contents from the myocytes into the circulatory system. Postoperative RML in bariatric surgery occurs with various non-physiological surgical positions, with prolonged muscle compression. The potential consequences may lead to death. The purpose of this study is to review its pathophysiology and the best ways to prevent RML in bariatric surgery. Methods: We searched the literature and reviewed all relevant articles, by searching for the keywords: rhabdomyolysis, morbid obesity, prevention and bariatric surgery, giving a total of 39 articles. Results: Prevention may be enhanced by careful padding on the operative table at all pressure-points. Changing patient position, both intraoperatively and postoperatively, also reduces RML. A potential new solution to decrease the longer operative time and avoid RML is to perform the bariatric operation in two stages. Another way to limit the duration of surgery in high-risk patients is to alert surgeons not to select super-obese high-risk patients early in the learning curve. Conclusion: As RML is an important and potentially fatal complication of bariatric surgery, the best way to avoid it is effective prevention. More research on this subject is necessary.
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