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Bariatric Surgery: Too Many Unanswered Questions - Editorials
ABSTRACT: Bariatric surgery leads to sustainable long-term weight loss and may be curative for such obesity-related comorbidities as diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea in severely obese patients. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass has become the most common procedure for patients undergoing bariatric surgery. The procedure carries a mortality risk of up to 1 percent and a serious complication risk of up to 10 percent. Indications include body mass index of 40 kg per m2 or greater, or 35 kg per m2 or greater with serious obesity-related comorbidities (e.g., diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, coronary artery disease, debilitating arthritis). Pulmonary emboli, anastomotic leaks, and respiratory failure account for 80 percent of all deaths 30 days after bariatric surgery; therefore, appropriate prophylaxis for venous thrombo-embolism (including, in most cases, low-molecular-weight heparin) and awareness of the symptoms of common complications are important. Some of the common short-term complications of bariatric surgery are wound infection, stomal stenosis, marginal ulceration, and constipation. Symptomatic cholelithiasis, dumping syndrome, persistent vomiting, and nutritional deficiencies may present as long-term complications.
Predicting Mortality Risk in Patients Undergoing Bariatric Surgery - Point-of-Care Guides
What Others Take for Granted - Close-ups
ABSTRACT: Roughly two thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Obesity increases the risk of hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, heart disease, pulmonary disease, hepatobiliary disease, cancer, and a number of psychosocial complications. Physicians often feel unprepared to handle this important problem. Practical office-based strategies include: (1) making recommendations for assisted self-management, including guidance on popular diets, (2) advising patients about commercial weight-loss programs, (3) advising patients about and prescribing medications, (4) recommending bariatric surgery, and (5) supplementing these strategies with counseling about lifestyle changes using a systematic approach. Family physicians should provide basic information about the effectiveness and safety of popular diets and commercial weight-loss programs, and refer patients to appropriate information sources. Sibutramine and orlistat, the only medications currently approved for the long-term treatment of obesity, should only be prescribed in combination with lifestyle changes. Bariatric surgery is an option for adults with a body mass index of 40 kg per m2 or higher, or for those with a body mass index of 35 kg per m2 or higher who have obesity-related comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes. The five A’s behavioral counseling paradigm (ask, advise, assess, assist, and arrange) can be used as the basis for a systematic, practical approach to the management of obesity that incorporates evidence for managing common obesity-related behaviors.
ABSTRACT: Bariatric surgery procedures, including laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, result in an average weight loss of 50 percent of excess body weight. Remission of diabetes mellitus occurs in approximately 80 percent of patients after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Other obesity-related comorbidities are greatly reduced, and health-related quality of life improves. The Obesity Surgery Mortality Risk Score can help identify patients with increased mortality risk from bariatric surgery. Complications and adverse effects are lowest with laparoscopic surgery, and vary by procedure and presurgical risk. The Roux-en-Y procedure carries an increased risk of malabsorption sequelae, which can be minimized with standard nutritional supplementation. Outcomes are also influenced by the experience of the surgeon and surgical facility. Overall, these procedures have a mortality risk of less than 0.5 percent. Although there have been no long-term randomized controlled trials, existing studies show that bariatric surgery has a beneficial effect on mortality. The family physician is well positioned to care for obese patients by discussing surgery as an option for long-term weight loss. Counseling about the procedure options, risks and benefits of surgery, and the potential reduction in comorbid conditions is important. Patient selection, presurgical risk reduction, and postsurgical medical management, with nutrition and exercise support, are valuable roles for the family physician.
ABSTRACT: Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding procedures have a favorable risk-benefit profile and are increasingly important as part of the overall management of obesity. These procedures are effective at inducing weight loss and improving comorbid conditions, including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and sleep apnea. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding has several typical complications, and family physicians should recognize these as part of a team-based approach to the management of obesity. Gastric band slippage, port or tubing malfunction, stomal obstruction, band erosion, pouch dilation, and port infection are examples of complications that may occur after laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. Upper gastrointestinal tract imaging is often required to diagnose these complications. Some complications can be managed in the primary care setting through behavioral diet modification or removal of fluid from the band (band deflation); however, other complications require surgical repair or removal of the band.