Background: The population of obese patients is progressively growing and bariatric operations are becoming increasingly common. Morbidly obese patients require special anesthetic care and are often considered to be difficult to ventilate and intubate. The VivaSight™ Single Lumen tube is an endotracheal tube with a camera embedded in its tip. The view from the tip appears continuously on a monitor in the anesthesiologist's vicinity. The aim of this study was to assess the VivaSight™ in comparison with conventional endotracheal tube as an aid in the intubation and surveillance of tube position during surgery of obese patients.
Methods: This is a prospective study of 72 adult obese patients who underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. The patients were randomly assigned to be intubated by either the VivaSight™ (40 patients, test group) or a conventional endotracheal tube (32 patients, control group). Data on the patients, the pre-operative airway evaluation, the endotracheal intubation and the post-operative outcome were collected and compared.
Results: The Mallampati scores were significantly higher in the test group than in the control group. Endotracheal intubation took 29 ± 10 and 24 ± 8 seconds using the VivaSight™ and a conventional tube respectively (p = 0.02). Three of the patients in the control group, while none of those in the test group, had soft tissue injury (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: We found the VivaSight™ SL to be helpful in the endotracheal intubation and continuous surveillance of tube position in morbidly obese patients undergoing laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.
Keywords: Airway; Anesthetic techniques; Bariatric complications; Equipment; Fiber-optic; Mechanical; Morbid obesity; Surgery; Ventilation.