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Obes Surg. 2002 Dec;12(6):733-46; discussion 747-50.

A bariatric surgery algorithm.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware Street SE, Mayo Mail Code 290, Minneapolis, MN 554455, USA.



Three premises underlie this formulation of an algorithm: 1) there is no gold standard operation; 2) the bariatric surgeon should be able to perform more than one bariatric operation; and 3) a patient can be broadly matched to an operation.


Literature review and interpretation.


The 5 currently clinically-tested bariatric procedures, ranked from least to most weight loss, are: 1) gastric banding (GB); 2) vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG); 3) Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP); 4) biliopancreatic diversion (BPD) or duodenal switch (DS); and 5) long-limb Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LLRYGBP). The following diagram for decision-making takes into consideration body mass index (BMI); age; gender, race, and body habitus (GRH); and comorbidities (CoM): This diagram can be converted to an equation; OC = 1.0+BMI Number (1 to 6) +/- 0.5 (age <40>) +/- 0.5 (GRH, Favorable or Unfavorable) +/- 1 (CoM, Low or High), where OC = operative category: GB = 0 to 3, VBG = 2 to 5, RYGBP = 3 to 6, BPD/DS = 4 to 7, and LLRYGBP = 6 to 9. Overlap between OCs integers allows for surgeon and patient preference.


A diagram or equation algorithm for operative selection in the morbidly obese has been constructed.

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