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Bariatric Surgery and Long-Term Outcomes

For many individuals who undergo bariatric surgery, it is a weight loss option "of last resort" after multiple failed weight loss efforts. Patients planning to undergo bariatric surgery appear to value weight loss highly, with 73% in one sample reporting that they were willing to risk death to achieve a weight loss of 20% of their weight. The main reason for patients to undergo bariatric surgery is to improve health. These findings emphasize the importance of providing patients (and parents, for pediatric patients) with the information they need to make informed decisions. Recent publications, whose authors included clinicians and health system stakeholders, have identified critical topics for further research that are consistent with the aims of this topic brief. Furthermore, although limited, data suggest that primary care providers (PCPs) lack high quality evidence for clinical management decisions for patients after bariatric surgery. In one study, although approximately 85% of PCPs treated patients who had undergone bariatric surgery, 35% felt unprepared to provide good quality long-term medical care for these patients. A better understanding of expected risks, benefits, and patient perceptions of the experience of bariatric surgery would assist patients, families and clinicians in making informed decisions about whether or not to pursue bariatric surgery or which procedure to choose.


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