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Medical outcomes following bariatric surgery

Dana Telem, MD
Alexander J Greenstein, MD, MPH
Bruce Wolfe, MD
Section Editor
Daniel Jones, MD
Deputy Editor
Wenliang Chen, MD, PhD


Short-term outcomes are defined as events that occur within two years following a bariatric operative procedure. This topic reviews short-term outcomes, including sustained weight loss, medical comorbidities, psychosocial difficulties, and health care expenditure, following the three most commonly performed bariatric operations: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), sleeve gastrectomy (SG), and adjustable gastric band (AGB).

Obesity is a worldwide epidemic, affecting children, adolescents, and adults [1-5]. For example, the 2010 National Health and Examination Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention demonstrated that 33.8 percent of adults in the United States and Canada are classified as obese [6-8]. Bariatric surgery remains the only effective sustained weight loss option for morbidly obese patients, and the performance of bariatric surgical procedures has significantly increased in the last 10 years [9,10].

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) estimated that in 2008 alone, 220,000 people in the United States underwent a weight loss operation [10]. In addition to achieving weight loss, bariatric procedures result in marked improvement or resolution of many obesity-related health problems, such as type II diabetes. However, the guidelines published by the American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology (ACC), and The Obesity Society (TOS) indicate that there is insufficient evidence at present to recommend bariatric or metabolic surgical procedures as primary treatment for type 2 diabetes independent of body mass index criteria [11,12]. (See "Bariatric operations for management of obesity: Indications and preoperative preparation".)

Additional topics on bariatric surgery are discussed separately, including:

(See "Bariatric operations for management of obesity: Indications and preoperative preparation".)


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