Current Anesthesiology Reports

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 76–84 | Cite as

Anesthetic Considerations in the Care of the Parturient with Obesity

  • Jaime L. Daly
  • Vilma E. OrtizEmail author
Obstetric Anesthesia (LR Leffert, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Obstetric Anesthesia


Purpose of Review

The goal of this review is to summarize recent findings on the physiologic alterations posed by maternal obesity and implications for the anesthetic care of mother and infant.

Recent Findings

Obesity is rising nationally and globally. Many studies show associations between excess weight during pregnancy with increased morbidity and mortality. Parturients with obesity are at a higher risk of endocrine, cardiac, pulmonary, and post-operative complications. A neuraxial catheter is recommended given the higher risk of an operative delivery. Consultation by an obstetric anesthesiologist is helpful for patient education and planning.


Maternal mortality is the highest in the USA compared to other high-income countries. Understanding the association between obesity and maternal morbidity and mortality is critically important. The obstetric anesthesiologist can improve care by understanding not only the patient's medical needs, but also anticipating complications and having appropriate equipment available. Multi-disciplinary care optimizes outcomes.


Maternal obesity Maternal mortality Obesity Cesarean delivery Obstetric anesthesia 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Jaime L. Daly and Vilma E. Ortiz declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care & Pain MedicineMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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