The gastric bypass is currently the most commonly performed procedure. The complication rate can be up to 16%, with a considerable proportion having nutritional implications.
Proc Nutr Soc. 2010 Nov;69(4):536-42. Epub 2010 Aug 10.
Department of Dietetics, St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare Trust, London W2 1NY, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
This review details the practicalities of providing nutrition support to obese patients who experience complications following bariatric surgery and highlights some of the nutritional challenges encountered by this group of patients. Bariatric surgery to treat morbid obesity has significantly increased internationally over the past decade with hospital admissions rising annually. The gastric bypass is currently the most commonly performed procedure. The complication rate can be up to 16%, with a considerable proportion having nutritional implications. The treatment can involve avoidance of oral diet and nutrition support, i.e. enteral or parenteral nutrition. Opposition to nutrition support can be encountered. It is useful to clarify the aims of nutrition support, these being: the avoidance of overfeeding and its consequences, preservation of lean body mass and promotion of healing. Evidence suggests that hypoenergic nutrition is not harmful and may actually be beneficial. There is a lack of consensus regarding the optimum method to predict the nutritional requirements in the obese acutely unwell patient. The literature suggests that the predicted equations are fairly accurate compared to measured energy expenditure in free living obese patients before and after bariatric surgery. However, these findings cannot be directly applied to those obese patients experiencing complications of bariatric surgery, who will be acutely unwell exhibiting inflammatory response. It is therefore necessary to refer to the literature on energy expenditure in hospitalized obese patients, to help guide practice. More research examining the energy and protein requirements of obese patients needing nutrition support following bariatric surgery is urgently required.