Envision Physician Services anesthesiologist Patrick Ziemann-Gimmel, M.D., is helping lead a bariatric anesthesia study through the International Society for the Perioperative Care of the Obese Patient (ISPCOP) to help improve best practices for treating obese patients.

“I developed a research interest in bariatric surgery and anesthesia years ago,” Dr. Ziemann-Gimmel said. “After publishing several studies and presenting at ASA (American Society of Anesthesiologists), FSA (Florida Society of Anesthesiologists) and the ObesityWeek conference, I discovered ISPCOP and became a board member.”

For the study, ISPCOP is asking all anesthesia clinicians to take a survey, which focuses on supraglottic airway use in bariatric surgery. Dr. Ziemann-Gimmel anticipates that participation from Envision Physician Services clinicians will shed light on the most successful bariatric anesthesia practices across the board.

“Envision offers a great platform to reach a huge number of anesthesia providers.
The opinions of our clinicians would certainly help us shape approaches to certain procedures, such as when to use or not use a laryngeal mask airway.”

Because of pre-existing restricted breathing patterns in bariatric patients, there is a heightened risk of complications when using supraglottic airways during surgery. ISPCOP is particularly interested in whether clinicians around the world are using these devices or other breathing aids, like ventilators or tracheal tubes.

ISPCOP ran an initial survey for anesthesiology attendings in the U.S. and received more than 300 responses. The current survey is available for anesthesia clinicians throughout the world to broaden the scope for answers and gain insight into how clinicians worldwide treat obese patients during surgery.

The society will be presenting its findings from the preliminary survey at the 2018 ASA meeting.