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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2012 Nov;130(5):1048-58. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318267d531.

Patient safety in the operating room: II. Intraoperative and postoperative.

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Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis. 53792-3236, USA.



The perioperative environment can be hazardous to patients and providers alike. Although many risks are best addressed preoperatively, some hazards require constant attention by the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and staff in the operating room. In a previous article, the authors discussed preoperative aspects of patient safety. In this article, the authors review intraoperative and postoperative risks and techniques to decrease these risks.


The authors reviewed the literature regarding operating room safety, both primary research and secondary reviews, via multiple PubMed queries and literature searches. Topics most relevant to inpatient plastic surgery were included in the final analysis and summarized, as a full review of each topic is beyond the scope of this article.


Several intraoperative and postoperative risks were identified, in addition to methods designed to decrease the incidence of those risks, complications, and other adverse events among plastic surgeons and their patients.


In this article covering intraoperative and postoperative hazards, the authors build upon a previous article addressing preoperative risks to patients during inpatient plastic surgery. Although neither article covers an exhaustive list of potential risks, the goal is to provide the modern plastic surgeon with the means to prevent common adverse events, as well as the tools to research new hazards.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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