MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Junaid A. Bhatti, MBBS, MSc, PhD
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Research Institute
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Bhatti: Weight loss surgeries are consistently increasing in the US. While the positive impact of surgery on patient’s health are undebatable, limited information is available about long-term healthcare utilization, especially, emergency care utilization in bariatric surgery patients. This study compared emergency care utilization in bariatric patients three years following surgery to that of three years prior to surgery. Overall, we found that emergency care utilization increased by about 17% following surgery compared to the before surgery period. While complaints related to cardiovascular, ear, respiratory, and dermatology decreased, the complaints related to gastrointestinal, genitourinary, mental health, and substance misuse increased following surgery.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Bhatti: Our findings are more geared towards emergency physicians as they are expected to see more of these patients with increasing surgery numbers. These findings indicate that they need to be aware of the potential complications, in particularly those related to gastrointestinal, genitourinary, mental health, and substance misuse, as they may directly originate from changes as a result of surgery. It is likely that most of these complaints originate from non-compliance of dietary recommendations following surgery. A better understanding of these complaints and planning of long-term management of bariatric patients may avoid this additional burden on emergency department. These findings are also informative for patients as they have to consider that bariatric surgery may result in permanent changes that necessitates a permanent life-style change. These findings suggest that patient education during informed consent prior to surgery may mention potential side effects of surgery, e.g., higher emergency care use following surgery.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Bhatti: These findings provides the impetus to study the long-term effects of bariatric surgery that have not been clarified so far, such as the effects on genitourinary, mental health, substance misuse.
Dr. Junaid Bhatti (2016). ER Visits Rise in Three Years Following Bariatric Surgery