Obesity and Bariatric Surgery Paper

Nurses are struggling to address the problems unique to bariatric surgery as a surgical solution to obesity as a complex behavioral, social and metabolic issue. That is despite the fact that reports indicate that bariatric surgery has been effective in addressing obesity. Without a doubt, it is hardly counter-intuitive that interference using mechanical tools targeting the size of the gut and its ability to absorb food is likely to be useful in the armamentarium for obesity management. However, the mechanism for bariatric surgery resulting in weight loss involves changes that are more complex in controlling satiety and metabolism. Still, it is not shocking that bariatric surgery has become more widely offered even as the severity of obesity becomes apparent (Herron, 2016).


It is evident that the growing occurrence of morbid obesity means that the number of individuals who require an access bariatric surgery will continue to swell over time. That is because bariatric surgical procedures have become an acceptable and preferred method for managing weight issues, with the added advantage of addressing other co-morbidities. Nonetheless, the provision of high-quality nursing care is still an important input to achieve positive outcomes in the care of patients. In essence, high-quality nursing care along the continuum of the bariatric surgery experience is important to good outcomes for these patients (Kushner & Bessesen, 2014). Throughout the care process, from selecting the patients to undergo surgery up to the point where they undertake follow-up visits to evaluate the surgery results, nurses have a substantial effect on the patients’ response to the surgery. During the selection process, the nurse is expected to elucidate any diagnostic tests the patient is expected to undergo, along with the rationale for the tests and a review of the complete medical history. The nurses go on to explain to the medical team any factors that are particular to the patient and likely to affect the surgical procedure (Herron, 2016). Obesity and Bariatric Surgery Paper

Overall, it is important to note that bariatric surgical procedures result in a principal change in lifestyle for the patient. This change evolves over time even as the patient shades weight, adjusts to new eating pattern, accepts a new body image, and receives new perceptions from others. Even as this happens, the nurse ensures that the patient has access to suitable referral information for support services, following up to ensure that these services are accessed. That is in recognition of the fact that patients’ stay in the theatre and even acute care is very short. Obviously, the patient should be discharged from the hospital with specific information about diets, drainage tube, wound and skin care, symptoms and signs that would require medical attention, self-care, and ambulation. The information should also include demonstration about drains and wounds care activities and written information. This means that the nurse acts as a source of information and a tool for monitoring the patients’ progress during the post-operative period (Brethauer, Schauer & Schirmer, 2015).

Most of the nursing management problems noted in bariatric surgery are generic to other surgical procedures. These problems boil down to a lack of considerate pre- and post-operative assessment, i.e. a failure to conduct simple nursing functions methodically and comprehensively, such as failing to conduct careful follow-up in the post-operative period. If ever there was an illustration of dictum that medical staff treats while God heals, then it is when nurses fail to understand the patient’s needs (Agrawal, 2016). To put the issue into perspective, bariatric surgery entails a patient having one visit whereby a habitus that would typically present a challenge to the medical care team undergoes a procedure linked to alterations to the nutritional habit that would eventually affect how the body systems function. Besides that, contending that bariatric surgery and the use of laparoscopic tools is still comparatively novel despite having been available for more than a decade shows that there are knowledge gaps (Murayama & Kothari, 2016).

It is undeniable that the use of the range of bariatric surgeries to resolve an eating disorder can only be effective if applied in the context of supportive nursing services. It must also be acknowledged that bariatric surgery is a rapidly expanding and relatively young surgical field, which poses challenging and novel problems. As such, nurses whose experience is scanty in the extreme plague the field. Many nurses only occasionally care for bariatric surgery patients, in a manner reminiscent of cosmetic surgery with some of the surgeries undertaking these procedures not more than ten times in a year. Even when approximately 12,000 procedures are conducted annually (reflecting a rapid increase of a reasonably new medical modality), most nurses will only perform bariatric surgery less than twelve times in a year. This means that nurses occasionally undertake such procedures. In common with other specialist surgical procedures, bariatric surgical procedures should, if possible, not be for occasional operators (Greenberg, Blumberg & Burakoff, 2015). With this awareness, the question then becomes: what is the relationship between nurses’ experience and surgical outcomes, such that what is the optimum experience level and ideal bariatric surgical procedures volume that would be undertaken by a nurse to ensure the best outcome? Obesity and Bariatric Surgery Paper


Agrawal, S. (2016). Obesity, bariatric and metabolic surgery: a practical guide. Cham: Springer.

Brethauer, S., Schauer, P. & Schirmer, B. (Eds.) (2015). Minimally invasive bariatric surgery (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.

Greenberger, N., Blumberg, R. & Burakoff, R. (2015). Current diagnosis & treatment: gastroenterology, hepatology, & endoscopy (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Herron, D. (2016). Bariatric surgery complications and emergencies. Cham: Springer.

Kushner, R. & Bessesen, D. (2014). Treatment of the obese patient (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.

Murayama, K. & Kothari, S. (2016). Obesity care and bariatric surgery. London: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.

Obesity and Bariatric Surgery Paper

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