Obesity: a review of its implications and considerations in oral and maxillofacial surgery
Obesity is defined as the accumulation of fatty tissue to such a level that overall health might be adversely affected. It is a complex, multifactorial metabolic condition which develops from interactions of genetic and environmental factors. The prevalence of obesity is increasing at an alarming rate in many parts of the world including developing countries. Subsequently, increasing number of obese patients is expected to present for oral and maxillofacial treatment. Such treatment includes routine oral and maxillofacial procedures (teeth extraction, fracture fixation, biopsies), specific corrective procedures for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, and intermaxillary fixation for weight reduction. Obese patients provide a unique challenge because of their body habitus, medical conditions, and physiologic, response to treatment, all of which have significant consequences on the surgical procedure being performed. Therefore, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon needs to be aware of these associated medical and surgical issues and take them into consideration when treating these patients. This article reviews the clinical and surgical implications that obesity has on the delivery of oral and maxillofacial surgical and anaesthetic care.