Several gastrointestinal problems occur with relative frequency in the perioperative orthopedic setting. Abnormal preoperative liver function studies are often not clinically significant, although various conditions, specifically cirrhosis, are important to define before surgery is performed; other gastrointestinal complications arise postoperatively. These may include nausea, vomiting, and more severe conditions such as abdominal ileus and Clostridium difficile colitis. Physicians involved in postoperative care need to be familiar with these conditions, the presentation of which may be subtle but may evolve producing severe morbidity. This chapter reviews the most common of the postoperative gastrointestinal problems, and the best strategies for avoiding and dealing with these perioperative complications are anticipation, prevention, and early therapy.
Abnormal liver tests Ileus Clostridium difficile
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Dr. Maltz would like to thank Dr. Melissa H. Rosen for her work on the first edition of this chapter.
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