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Keywords

bariatric, comorbidities, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG)

 

Authors

  1. Ryan, Milissa Ann MSN, CRNP

Abstract

Because of the increased incidence of obesity today, bariatric surgery is now considered to be an acceptable treatment modality. However, much of the information that exists in the media focuses on the procedure itself, not on the preoperative and postoperative issues that can be just as important to address. As a certified registered nurse practitioner who deals with these patients on a daily basis, and as a patient who has had both the vertical banded gastroplasty and the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, I consider myself as having a better understanding of the entire process than most. Everyone who chooses bariatric surgery has his or her own motivating factors, whether it be to feel better, to get off his or her medications, or to better control or resolve his or her comorbid conditions; the list is endless. The most important factor is educating oneself and knowing all there is to know about whatever procedure is desired. Insurance companies are now requiring nutritional consults preoperatively that lay the foundation for bariatric patients postoperatively. It is imperative as a healthcare consumer to ask questions, attend classes and support groups, and follow the guidelines that the surgeon has established so as to be successful. I have been through it all and understand the process from beginning to end. I also have extraordinary compassion, sensitivity, and empathy for the bariatric patients, because of my previous experiences. People who have never had a weight problem cannot begin to understand the plight of those who do. I try to guide the patients and point them in the right direction; however, the decisions that they make are ultimately theirs.