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Introduction to Care of the Surgical Patient

by Robert G. Johnson, MD

Care of surgical patients often involves nonsurgical consultants (eg, primary care physicians, specialists), who may be asked to provide preoperative risk assessment (sometimes requested as medical clearance), suggest ways to minimize perioperative risks (eg, deep venous thrombosis, endocarditis), and manage complex medical conditions. Psychiatric consultation may be needed to assess capacity or help deal with underlying psychiatric problems that can interfere with recovery. Elderly patients may benefit from involvement of an interdisciplinary geriatric team (see Geriatric Interdisciplinary Teams), which may need to involve social workers, therapists, ethicists, and other practitioners.

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