Sixty-eight patients with asthma followed by the Northwestern Allergy Service underwent a total of 92 surgical procedures from July 1973 to December 1986. In 41 of 92 procedures outpatient prednisone was administered, and in 92 procedures a pretreatment regimen of 100 mg hydrocortisone parenterally every 8 hours beginning the night before surgery was administered. Postoperatively, the overall incidence of pulmonary complications (either pulmonary infection or asthma) was 9.7%. Three patients developed pneumonia, demonstrated by an infiltrate on chest x-ray examination, and two patients developed wheezing requiring epinephrine, giving a complication rate of 5.4%. In addition, four patients developed mild wheezing postoperatively. Statistical analyses to compare the overall infection rate in this asthmatic population with that in two other surgical populations showed no statistical differences. There were no deaths and no patient developed any wound complication or adrenocortical insufficiency. These results indicate that patients with asthma in optimal respiratory condition who have received preoperative clinical evaluation and a hydrocortisone pretreatment regimen can undergo surgery with minimal complications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy