Guidelines Enhance Safety for Bariatric Surgery Patients

Thursday, May 14, 2009 8:08 am EDT


"With obesity at epidemic proportions in the United States, bariatric surgery is becoming a much more common procedure"

Clinical guidelines illustrating the safest ways to manage a bariatric surgery patient during the periods before and after the procedure were presented today at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 18th Annual Meeting & Clinical Congress.

The guidelines are a collaborative effort between AACE, The Obesity Society and the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery. The guideline’s 166 evidence-based recommendations focus on the metabolic and nutritional aspects of the severely obese patient who plans to undergo the procedure.

“With obesity at epidemic proportions in the United States, bariatric surgery is becoming a much more common procedure,” said AACE Member and co-author of the guidelines Jeffrey I. Mechanick, MD, FACP, FACE, FACN.

The number of severely obese individuals is on the rise, currently affecting nearly 10 million in the United States.1 This means that for each bariatric surgeon there are approximately 10,000 potential surgical candidates.2

With more procedures performed every day, considerable concern has been raised regarding the dangers associated with bariatric surgical procedures like metabolic bone disease, among other nutritional deficiencies. The comprehensive guideline’s 166 evidence-based recommendations address many of these dangers, and offer ways to minimize them. They also address the following topics:

• Selecting appropriate patients for bariatric surgery;

• Recommendations regarding the pre-operative and post-operative evaluation for the patient;

• Ways to recognize and manage post-operative complications; and

• Recommendations to select patients for a second bariatric surgical procedure or a revision or reversal of a previous bariatric surgical procedure.

To download an electronic version of the guidelines please visit the AACE Web site by clicking here. Audio from the AACE Annual Meeting media briefing on this particular topic are available online here.