Critical Care Issues in Oncological Surgery Patients

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17 Scopus citations

Abstract

As life expectancy increases and advances in cancer treatment more often convert deadly conditions into more chronic diseases, the surgical intensivist can expect to be faced with greater numbers of oncology patients undergoing aggressive surgical treatments for curative intent, prolonging survival, or primarily palliation by alleviating obstruction, infection, bleeding, or pain. Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) are a paradigm for the emerging field of multimodal aggressive oncological surgery. This article describes the CRS/HIPEC technique, and discusses the most common postoperative complications and critical care issues in these patients, including anastomotic leaks, intestinal perforation, abscesses, and intra-abdominal bleeding. The leading cause of mortality is sepsis leading to multiple organ failure, and such patients are at particularly higher risk due to the extensive CRS and HIPEC. The intensivist must be vigilant to ensure that source control is not overlooked. This process is a very difficult one, made even more challenging by the blunting of physiologic responses and the frequent absence of the classic acute abdomen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-106
Number of pages14
JournalCritical Care Clinics
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cytoreductive
  • ICU

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