(RxWiki News) Obesity is a national health problem that causes significant illness and disability. A new method for determining the risk for complications from bariatric surgery may steer more physicians and patients towards considering it as an option.
Although proven to be effective, physicians and patients are sometimes hesitant to recommend bariatric surgery because obese patients face an increased risk of post-operative complications.
"The risk calculator for bariatric surgery helps patients understand potential complications from a surgical procedure."
Prateek K. Gupta, MD, a general surgery resident at Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, NE, and the study's lead author, designed the a risk calculator based on data from the American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP).
ACS NSQIP collected the data from over 11,000 patients who underwent a bariatric procedure in the years 2007 and 2008. Follow up data from the pre-operative age through a 30 day post-operation was collected.
The findings showed an increase of risk for patients who had recent heart attacks or angina, stroke, high blood pressure and the use of blood thinners. Patients also displayed problems managing their daily life in addition to increased weight.
Surgeons will now have better information about which type of bariatric surgery might be appropriate for the patient, and will also serve to educate patients about what to expect from post-operative recovery outcomes.
Bariatric surgery is a technique that reduces the functional size of the stomach to hold only a small amount of food, either by removing part of it or placing an elastic band around it.
The reduced size enables patients to only eat a small amount of food at a time, reducing overall calorie consumption and facilitating weight loss.