ABSTRACT: Between 1998 and 2004, the total number of bariatric procedures increased almost 10-fold, from 13,386 procedures in 1998 to 121,055 in 2004. Current estimates suggest the number of bariatric operations will exceed 220,000 in 2010. Bariatric surgery encompasses several surgical techniques classified as restrictive or malabsorptive, based on the main mechanism of weight loss. Clinical studies and meta-analyses show that bariatric surgery decreases morbidity and mortality when compared with nonsurgical treatments. A successful long-term outcome of bariatric surgery is dependent on the patient's commitment to a lifetime of dietary and lifestyle changes. The registered dietitian (RD) is an important member of the bariatric team and provides critical instructions to help patients adhere to the dietary changes consistent with surgery. Referencing current literature, this article outlines the indications, contraindications, and types of bariatric surgery. The role of the RD for preoperative and postoperative nutrition assessment and medical nutrition therapy is highlighted. Management of long-term nutrition issues is also reviewed. The current recommendations include a multivitamin/mineral supplement plus vitamin B-12, calcium, vitamin D-3, iron, and folic acid. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity and bariatric surgery procedures, caring for patients who have undergone surgery will be an expanding role for the RD. Close postoperative follow-up and careful monitoring will improve the odds for successful surgical outcomes, and RDs play a very important part in this process.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association 04/2010; 110(4):593-9. · 3.59 Impact Factor