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How do patients’ clinical phenotype and the physiological mechanisms of the operations impact the choice of bariatric procedure?

Authors Bächler T, le Roux C, Bueter M

Received 19 January 2016

Accepted for publication 24 May 2016

Published 22 July 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 181—189


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Andreas M Kaiser

Thomas Bächler,1 Carel W le Roux,2,3 Marco Bueter4

1Department of General and Visceral Surgery, Fribourg Cantonal Hospital (HFR), Fribourg, Switzerland; 2Diabetes Complications Research Centre, Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; 3Gastrosurgical Laboratory, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; 4Division of Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, University Hospital Zurich (USZ), Zürich, Switzerland

Abstract: Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective option for the treatment of morbid obesity and its associated comorbidities. Recent clinical and experimental findings have challenged the role of mechanical restriction and caloric malabsorption as the main mechanisms for weight loss and health benefits. Instead, other mechanisms including increased levels of satiety gut hormones, altered gut microbiota, changes in bile acid metabolism, and/or energy expenditure have been proposed as explanations for benefits of bariatric surgery. Beside the standard proximal Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and the biliopancreatic diversion with or without duodenal switch, where parts of the small intestine are excluded from contact with nutrients, resectional techniques like the sleeve gastrectomy (SG) have recently been added to the armory of bariatric surgeons. The variation of weight loss and glycemic control is vast between but also within different bariatric operations. We surveyed members of the Swiss Society for the Study of Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Disorders to assess the extent to which the phenotype of patients influences the choice of bariatric procedure. Swiss bariatric surgeons preferred Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and SG for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and patients with a body mass index >50 kg/m2, which is consistent with the literature. An SG was preferred in patients with a high anesthetic risk or previous laparotomy. The surgeons’ own experience was a major determinant as there is little evidence in the literature for this approach. Although trends will come and go, evidence-based medicine requires a rigorous examination of the proof to inform clinical practice.

Keywords: bariatric procedures, underlying physiology, choice of type of surgery

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