Bariatric Surgery Guidelines

On the last day of the 2008 Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society (TOS), Phoenix, Arizona, I attended a session on bariatric surgery (for non-surgeons). Not only is this a clear indication that TOS is moving closer to the bariatric surgery community, but also that the surgeons are recognizing the importance of reaching out to the non-surgery bariatric health professionals, whose support is essential for the long-term success of patients undergoing bariatric surgery.

As readers of this blog know, we may be ahead of the game in this regard, as the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons (CABPS) was created right from the onset to ensure that the surgical and non-surgical strategies and approaches go hand in hand.

Canada can perhaps also point to the comprehensive evidence-based 2006 Clinical Practice Guidelines for obesity prevention and management, that includes chapters on behavioural, medical and surgical management of obesity.

That said, given the exponential increase in the demand and delivery of bariatric surgery in the US, the Americans are of course further along in terms of developing extensive guidelines specifically centred around the care of bariatric patients.

Two recent documents that readers of these pages may be interested in are:

Medical Guidelines for Clinical Practice for the Perioperative, Nutritional,  Metabolic and Non-Surgical Support of the Bariatric Surgery Patients, co-published by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, The Obesity Society, and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

ASMBS Allied Health Nutritional Guidelines for the Surgical Weight Loss Patient, which provides an overview and should serve as an educational tool to increase awareness among medical professionals of the potential risk of nutritional deficiencies common to bariatric surgery patients.

The wealth of information in these documents should dispel any false notion that bariatric surgery is a “simple” and “easy” solution to obesity. 

As blogged before, obesity surgery is not just about surgery.

Edmonton, Alberta