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What every hospitalist should know about the post-bariatric surgery patient


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Obesity is a growing worldwide epidemic, increasingly addressed through surgical options for weight loss. Benefits of these operations, such as weight loss and improvement or reversal of obesity-related comorbidities, are well established; however, postoperative complications do occur. This article will evaluate common causes for hospital admissions in the post-bariatric surgery population as they relate to the hospitalist who is often responsible for their care. Here we provide an overview of the most common bariatric procedures currently performed, early postoperative complications, late medical complications (ie, abdominal complaints, weight fluctuations, nutritional deficiencies, and metabolic bone disease), and late surgical complications that often affect these patients and result in hospital admissions. Special attention will be paid to radiologic pearls that can assist in the initial evaluation and diagnosis of these patients. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2012;. © 2011 Society of Hospital Medicine