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Bariatric Surgery Patients Not Getting Recommended Follow-Up Care

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30, 2020 -- Many bariatric surgery patients do not receive recommended postoperative nutritional and weight monitoring within general practice, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in the British Journal of General Practice.

Helen Parretti, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine whether nutritional and weight monitoring in primary care meets current clinical guidance for adults who had undergone bariatric surgery with a minimum of three years of follow-up after surgery, while focusing on those who were discharged from specialist care two years after surgery. Data were included for 3,137 participants with a median postsurgical follow-up of 5.7 years.

The researchers found that 45 to 59 percent of participants had an annual weight measurement. The proportion of patients with a record of annual nutritional blood tests was greatest for tests routinely conducted in primary care; for example, recorded hemoglobin measurement varied from 44.9 to 61.2 percent. In contrast, the investigators observed a low annual proportion of blood tests specific to bariatric surgery; for example, recorded copper measurement varied from 1.2 to 1.5 percent. Anemia was the most common deficiency. A low annual proportion of patients had prescriptions for recommended nutritional supplements.

"Patients are supported to make changes to their eating before surgery and these changes need to continue after surgery to help avoid putting weight back on and to keep well. In addition, it is important that patients take lifelong nutritional supplements after their surgery," a coauthor said in a statement. "But patients need support to achieve this after their operations and current guidance recommends this is offered by general practitioners."

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Posted: December 2020

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