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Early and late complications of bariatric operation
  1. Robert Lim1,
  2. Alec Beekley2,
  3. Dirk C Johnson3,
  4. Kimberly A Davis3
  1. 1 Department of Surgery, Tripler Army Medical Center, Tripler, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
  2. 2 Department of Surgery, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3 Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  1. Correspondence to Kimberly A Davis, Division of General Surgery, Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8062, USA; kimberly.davis{at}


Weight loss surgery is one of the fastest growing segments of the surgical discipline. As with all medical procedures, postoperative complications will occur. Acute care surgeons need to be familiar with the common problems and their management. Although general surgical principles generally apply, diagnoses specific to the various bariatric operations must be considered. There are anatomic considerations which alter management priorities and options for these patients in many instances. These problems present both early or late in the postoperative course. Bariatric operations, in many instances, result in permanent alteration of a patient’s anatomy, which can lead to complications at any time during the course of a patient’s life. Acute care surgeons diagnosing surgical emergencies in postbariatric operation patients must be familiar with the type of surgery performed, as well as the common postbariatric surgical emergencies. In addition, surgeons must not overlook the common causes of an acute surgical abdomen—acute appendicitis, acute diverticulitis, acute pancreatitis, and gallstone disease—for these are still among the most common etiologies of abdominal pathology in these patients.

  • complications
  • morbid obesity
  • acute care surgery

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  • Presented at Presented as a lunch session at the 78th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma in San Diego, California, September 2017.

  • Contributors All authors contributed to article design, creation, and editing.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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