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.
Published In/Presented At
Schroeder, R., Garrison, J., & Johnson, M. (2011). Treatment of adult obesity with bariatric surgery. American Family Physician, 84(7), 805-814.
Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Primary Care | Surgery