1. Sorensen, Richard D. MS


Weight loss surgery (WLS) patients, such as those undergoing bileopancreatic diversions and other Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedures, present a relatively new population for the health care system. WLS creates special needs for this population that health care providers may not be fully aware of. The author, a former WLS patient and health care quality assurance professional, presents observations from his unique personal perspective. He feels that WLS patients, and post-WLS patients receiving other health care services, can be inadvertently jeopardized by the lack of awareness of their special needs. These needs are the result of the permanent postsurgical malnutrition and malabsorption syndrome occurring after the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. These needs include nutrition, management of electrolytes during surgery, and pain management. Additionally, the morbidly obese patients may possess low self-esteem to the degree that they may not actively and appropriately participate in their own care. The author also offers personal observations concerning his belief that there is discrimination against morbidly obese patients in the health care setting. The author presents a personal case study as a tool for better understanding of the WLS patient by caregivers.