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Obes Surg. 2009 May;19(5):641-4. doi: 10.1007/s11695-008-9765-7. Epub 2008 Nov 13.

Referral for a bariatric surgical consultation: it is time to set a standard of care.

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1
Head Obesity Research Unit, School of Primary Health Care, Monash University, 270 Furntree Gully Road, Notting Hill, 3168, Australia. John.Dixon@med.monash.edu.au

Abstract

Indications for bariatric surgery have been clear for some time and many would say that they are conservative. Unfortunately few eligible candidates seek or are referred for bariatric surgery, with less than 1% currently treated annually. In recent years, the evidence base supporting surgical therapy has strengthened with demonstrable improvements in both safety and efficacy. We now have evidence of remarkable improvements in health, quality of life, and increased life expectancy. There is continued frustration with the poor efficacy of non-surgical therapies and no indication that this is about to change. A caring physician should, as best care, refer the seriously ill morbidly obese patient for a surgical opinion. It is no different from their obligation to adequately manage type-2 diabetes, depression or unstable angina. Currently, even discussion of a surgical referral is optional. It is time we articulated and defined a group of patients where referral for a surgical opinion is no longer merely an option but a physician's responsibility as best care for the patient. It is time to provide leadership towards the delivery of better care for these patients.

PMID:
19005734
DOI:
10.1007/s11695-008-9765-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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