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The Role of Radiography/Fluoroscopy in Postoperative Bariatric Surgery

Kevin R. Clark, EdD, RT(R)

*Assistant Professor, Radiologic Sciences, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas.

Address correspondence to: Kevin R. Clark, EdD, RT(R), Assistant Professor, Radiologic Sciences, Midwestern State University, 3410 Taft Boulevard, Wichita Falls, TX 76308. E-mail: kevin.clark@mwsu.edu.

 

ABSTRACT

Obesity is a health condition that has reached epidemic proportions around the world and is the second leading cause of preventable death, following tobacco use, in the United States. Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may harm a person's health. For obese patients, bariatric surgery is often the most effective way to lose this excess weight and maintain the weight loss over time. Bariatric surgical procedures cause weight loss by restricting intake, inducing malabsorption, or a combination of both. Currently, 4 major types of bariatric operations are performed in the United States: laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch. Diagnostic imaging, especially radiography, plays an important role in the postoperative care and treatment of patients after bariatric surgery. Specifically, fluoroscopy is helpful in detecting complications associated with bariatric surgical procedures. Radiographers should be knowledgeable of the anatomical changes to the gastrointestinal tract that occur during these 4 surgical procedures, as well as any abnormalities associated with resultant anatomical changes.

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