Elon Musk Cancels Elective Surgeries
by Vince Vacketta
Since Musk’s unveiling of the secret to his success, semaglutide injections like Ozempic and Wegovy have seen a tremendous rise in popularity for chronic weight management in obese individuals, as well as in blood glucose control of diabetics. Catalyzed by celebrity endorsement, the prescription weight loss drug market has skyrocketed past its forecasted growth in 2022 and is expected to be a $2 billion industry in 2023.
One of the major effects of semaglutide and other GLP-1 agonists is decreased gastric motility which reduces stomach emptying and ultimately, may pose a risk to patients undergoing anesthesia for elective surgery. Due to the delayed stomach emptying from these drugs recent anecdotal reports of increased risk of regurgitation and aspiration of food during general anesthesia and deep sedation have been made, according to American Society of Anesthesiologists President Michael W. Champeau, M.D., FAAP, FASA.
Relevance to elective outpatient surgery
The presence of retained stomach contents in patients undergoing elective outpatient surgery could result in delay or cancellation of surgery due to heightened anesthesia risk. As a result, the ASA now recommends holding GLP-1 agonists on the day of surgery for patients who take the medication daily, and holding GLP-1 agonists a week prior to surgery for patients who take the medication weekly.
Vincent Vacketta is a fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon practicing at the Midwest Orthopaedic Center in Peoria, Illinois. He is a recent graduate of the Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Center in Columbus, Ohio where he received extensive training in elective reconstructive foot and ankle surgery. He has published in academic journals and textbooks and actively enjoys research, product development, and working with new and innovative medical technology.