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Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2010 Mar;39(1):135-46. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2009.12.011.

Short- and long-term surgical follow-up of the postbariatric surgery patient.

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Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1510 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.


Follow-up of the large numbers of patients undergoing bariatric surgery poses problems for surgical programs and for internists who care for morbidly obese patients. Early surgical follow up is concentrated on the perioperative period to ensure healing and care for any surgical complications. It is especially important to treat persistent vomiting to avoid thiamine deficiency. Subsequently, monitoring weight loss and resolution of comorbidities assumes more importance. Identification and management of nutritional deficiencies and other unwanted consequences of surgery may become the responsibility of internists if the patient no longer attends the office of the operating surgeon. The long-term goal is to avoid weight regain and deficiencies, especially of protein, iron and vitamin B12, and calcium and vitamin D. Abdominal pain and gastrointestinal dysfunction should be investigated promptly to exclude or confirm such conditions as small bowel obstruction or gallstones. Good communication between bariatric surgeons and internal medicine specialists is essential for early and accurate identification of problems arising from bariatric surgery.

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