Large patients on operating tables

What do surgeons/hospitals do when large patients need surgery and won’t fit on a standard operating table? Are there larger tables available if needed?

Yes. Here, for instance, is a surgical table (the Skytron 6702 Hercules) with a 1200 pound capacity.

Do they still slide patients from the gurney onto the operating table? Are there special procedures/materials for that in the case of very large patients? For example, double extra heavy duty sheets under the patient, and as many more people as required to safely handle the weight without injuring themselves? Or am I hopelessly behind the times?

A bigger problem is getting these patients to the hospital. Think of ambulance personnel maneuvering such a person out of a house on a special bariatric stretcher to a special bariatric ambulance:

I remember once on, “Scrubs,” Dr. Turk was saddled with the task, during surgery, of holding back a patient’s “fat flaps.”

In some cases, EMS has had to cut a hole in the house because the patient was too large to remove any other way.

My guess is that such cases are extraordinarily rare.

And that’s why they are news.

Veering off topic but at a horse hospital east of Cleveland they have operating tables for horses to lie on their sides. They have hoists to maneuver the horses. They have huge slings that can hold a horse upright while a broken leg is healing. They have walkways filled with water to allow the horses to just float as they exercise their repaired legs.

A zillion years ago I remember my father coming home from work and telling us of a morbidly obese patient that they had used a pair of ordinary tables in theatre for, and a small forklift to manage.
Back then such patients were really rare. Things have changed.

There are lots of medical devices available now for the bariatric market; I’ve even seen pictures of a bariatric toilet. Of course, I wouldn’t expect to see these things in a hospital with limited funding, which goes back to the issue of patient transport.

As far as getting the patient to the hospital, sometimes the fire department has to get involved as well. Ideally, an ambulance service will be used, especially due to the health risks involved in transporting a person of that size; of course, there’s no guarantee the local ambulance service will have specialized stretchers or lifting devices.

It’s amazing how wide the ordinary wheelchairs in ordinary hospitals are. Certainly much wider than they were 20 years ago. I and my wife could easily sit side by side in the ones I saw recently. Now we’re both skinny, but still.