The role of the internal medicine specialist in the management of infective complications in general surgical wards


BACKGROUND Internal medicine specialists are often asked to evaluate a patient before surgery. Perioperative risk evaluation for elderly patients is important, because complications increase with age. The increasing age of the general population increases the probabilities of surgery in the older patients. The manifestation of a surgical problem, is more likely to be severe and complicated in the elderly patients. In fact, emergency surgery treatment occurs more frequently in the elderly (e.g., it is much more common to see intestinal obstruction complicating colorectal cancer in the elderly compared with a younger population). Old age is an independent factor for long hospital stay after surgery. The role of the preoperative medical consultant is to identify and evaluate a patient’s current medical status and provide a clinical risk profile, in order to decide whether further tests are indicated prior to surgery, and to optimise the patient’s medical condition in the attempt of reducing the risk of complications. The medical consultant must know which medical condition could eventually influence the surgery, achieve a good contact and communication between the medical and surgical team, in order to obtain the best management planning.
AIM OF THE STUDY This paper focuses on the rational use of antibiotic prophylaxis and on the treatment of the complications of post-surgery infections (e.g., pulmonary complication, peritonitis, intra-abdominal infection). Specific aspects of pre-operative risk evaluation and peri and post-operative management are discussed.
CONCLUSIONS The internal medicin specialist in collaboration with the surgical team is necessary in the peri and post-surgery management.



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Medical consultant, Antibiotic prophylaxis, Surgical site, infection, Post-operative pulmonary complications, Peritonitis Intra-abdominal infection.
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How to Cite
Zoboli, P., Chesi, G., Boni, F., Maselli, F., & Zambianchi, L. (2013). The role of the internal medicine specialist in the management of infective complications in general surgical wards. Italian Journal of Medicine, 2(2), 12-19.