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Obesity is a chronic, progressive pathology with a poor prognosis of weight loss, which has no cure, requires specific treatment for weight loss and continuous follow-up to avoid weight regain. The early onset of obesity (childhood and youth) is a poor prognostic factor since obesity tends to be more severe, more resistant to treatment, and is more frequently associated with emotional disorders than adult-onset obesity.
In adulthood obesity is associated with decreased life expectancy and increased early mortality.
Obesity is not only important because of its high prevalence, but also because it is a multisystem disease. In general, obesity is associated with increased overall and cardiovascular mortality.
It affects the quality of life, it can cause problems of self-esteem and social stigmatization.
Complications of surgical treatment of Obesity
Bariatric surgery, on being major gastrointestinal surgery, entails the possibility of complications and secondary effects. The complications due to the surgery or surgical comorbidity are around 10%.
Among the early and serious complications are rupture of the stapled line, suture dehiscence, ulcers, bleeding, stenosis of the gastric stoma, and pulmonary thromboembolism.
The long-term complications included nutritional deficiencies, among the most common are, iron deficiency (anaemia), vitamin B12 (pernicious anaemia), calcium, vitamin D (osteoporosis), and proteins, which require oral supplements, or intravenous ones if the oral route fails. Other less frequent complications are diarrhoea, protein-calorie malnutrition, low blood glucose, gallstones, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
General symptoms are also very common, like the feeling of cold caused by the lower amount of fat covering the body surface. Weakness or tiredness is associated with loss of muscle mass and nutritional deficiencies, as well as hair loss associated with a deficiency of proteins and vitamins.
Finally, the excess of skin and cutaneous flaccidity that appear after the weight loss occasionally requires to be corrected with plastic surgery.
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Substantiated information by:
Alba Andreu MartíNutritionistEndocrinology and Dietetics Department
Lilliam Flores MenesesEndocrinologistEndocrinology Department
Silvia Cañizares AlejosPsychologistPsychiatry and Psychology Department
Published: 17 August 2018
Updated: 20 January 2022
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