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What a Pharmacist Needs to Know about Bariatric Surgery: Compounding Opportunities

Author(s):  Collier Kathleen, Beard Janet

Issue:  Mar/Apr 2005 - Health and Wellness
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Abstract:  Approximately two thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. The National Institutes of Health report that obesity is associated with higher rates of morbidity and mortality. Healthcare spending for obese persons is 37% higher than spending for individuals of healthy weight. Losing weight decreases the risk of diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease, as well as other chronic diseases. Weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is usually limited to the morbidly obese, those with a body mass index (BMI) = 40, or = 35 with some comorbid conditions. Bariatric surgery involves reducing the size of the gastric reservoir to decrease the amount of calories the patient is able to ingest. The surgery is considered not a cosmetic procedure but the only proven method to achieve long-term weight control for the severely obese, when accompanied by lifestyle and behavior modifications. Of primary concern to pharmacists for patients who have undergone bariatric surgery are drugs that may potentially harm the stomach pouch that remains after surgery, nutritional deficiencies, and dumping syndrome. Decreased acid in the stomach pouch affects the patient’s ability to process drugs and nutrition. One of the most common problems following bariatric surgery is calcium deficiency. Patients who have undergone bariatric surgery present numerous compounding opportunities in the areas of nutrition, pain management, electrolyte balance, hair loss, and skin problems, among others.

Related Keywords: Kathleen Collier, Janet Beard, obesity, weight loss, malabsorption, nutritional deficiency, body mass index, BMI, dumping syndrome

Related Categories: GASTROENTEROLOGY

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