Med-Surg Topic of the week .... Bariatric Surgery

Specialties Med-Surg


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I worry about these GB patients as they get older - I wonder just what kind of nutrition level they will have as they get to the age when even people who have normal digestive systems have trouble getting all the nutrients they need.

I cared for a patient who had this surgery and the downhill slide was so quick (malnutrition and poor wound healing) and profound - it was so sad. I don't think the importance of compliance and followup is stressed hard enough with some of these people, at least in my area. I honestly think some of them see people like Carnie Wilson and Al Roker (who probably had private chefs and trainers) and think it will be easy. Then again, I have seen the procedure save lives and change peoples' eating and exercise habits for the better.

I still think it is a very dangerous procedure, and I don't think we know enough about the long term effects.

The physician that does the most of these surgeries here has a very good record. He does require very intensive psych eval, nutrition training, exercise and body image training, and much more. He has had very good outcomes and many of his patients are doing well. But even though the pain and washed out feeling is discussed I do not think the patients or their families really understand this is a life long committment and battle. I have taken care of many of these patients, I work with several, most of them are very glad they have had this procedure but there are a couple who wish they had tried harder on their own to lose weight before surgery. In their already compromised state, I do see many of these patients getting colds, flu, other infections much easier that even some of the older clients we have served. I do wonder what the aging will be like with these patients. I would never have this procedure myself unless I had tried everything I could find available and it was my last resort.

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