“Globesity” (the global pervasiveness of obesity) is an epidemic issue across both developed and developing countries. For many nations obesity is a major health issue, but especially the United States. Across the US, the overall obesity prevalence for adults in 2011-2012 was 34.9%, meaning that more than one-third of adults in the country were obese. Bariatric surgery has been proven to be the most effective treatment for obese patients, with longer-lasting results; however despite this, currently only 1% of the obese population is treated surgically.
Bariatric surgery itself has made remarkable progress over the last two decades. In the mid-1990s, mortality rates of 1- 2% and major morbidity rates of 10-15% were commonplace. Due to advances in laparoscopic surgery, enhanced training, and the creation of bariatric centre standards, these statistics have dropped significantly. Today, mortality rates have decreased to 0.1- 0.3% and major morbidity rates to 3%-7%.
Nevertheless, despite such significant progress in safety, much opportunity for improvement remains. More high-risk, patients with co-morbidities are seeking bariatric surgery. Fear of mortality or complications is now the most common reason eligible patients choose not to undergo bariatric surgery, and it is important that surgeons are able to able to alleviate these fears to encourage patients to undergo surgery when necessary, to improve their quality of life.
In this video series, Dr Tomasz Rogula provides a comprehensive overview of the types of complications a bariatric surgeon might face, and the steps necessary to overcome them—from venous thromboembolism, to increased awareness of psychological factors in weight regain.
What are the most common complications of bariatric surgery?
Perioperative assessment in bariatric surgery
What is the future of bariatric surgery?
Post-operative complications : anatomical and psychological
Advice for quality improvement in bariatric surgery
Featured image credit: “Medical team performing operation. Group of surgeon at work in operating theatre toned in blue” by Idutko. Used under license from Shutterstock.com.