Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Postoperative respiratory complications increase healthcare utilization (e.g. hospital length of stay, unplanned admission to intensive care or high-dependency units, and hospital readmission), mortality, and adverse discharge to a nursing home. Furthermore, they are associated with significant costs. Center-specific treatment guidelines may reduce risks and can be guided by a local champion with multidisciplinary involvement. Patients should be risk-stratified before surgery and offered anesthetic choices (such as regional anesthesia). It is established that laparoscopic surgery improves respiratory outcomes over open surgery but requires tailored anesthesia/ventilation strategies (positive end-expiratory pressure utilization and low inflation pressure). Interventions to optimize treatment include judicious use of intensive care, moderately restrictive fluid therapy, and appropriate neuromuscular blockade with adequate reversal. Patients' ventilatory drive should be kept within a normal range wherever possible. High-dose opioids should be avoided, while volatile anesthetics appear to be lung protective. Tracheal extubation should occur in the reverse Trendelenburg position, and postoperative continuous positive airway pressure helps prevent airway collapse. In combination, all of these interventions facilitate early mobilization.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





hypercapnia, hypoxia, respiration, ventilation, Airway Extubation, Anesthesia, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, Fluid Therapy, Humans, Neuromuscular Blockade, Postoperative Complications, Respiratory System, Respiratory Tract Diseases