Gastrointestinal Surgery for Severe Obesity 25-27 March 1991
The National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference on Gastrointestinal Surgery for Severe Obesity brought together surgeons, gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, psychiatrists, nutritionists, and other health care professionals as well as the public to address the nonsurgical treatment options for severe obesity, the surgical treatments for severe obesity and the criteria for selection, the efficacy and risks of surgical treatments for severe obesity, and the need for future research on and epidemiological evaluation of these therapies. Following 2 days of presentations by experts and discussion by the audience, a consensus panel weighed the evidence and prepared their consensus statement. Among their findings, the panel recommended that (1) patients seeking therapy for severe obesity for the first time should be considered for treatment in a nonsurgical program with integrated components of a dietary regimen, appropriate exercise, and behavioral modification and support, (2) gastric restrictive or bypass procedures could be considered for well-informed and motivated patients with acceptable operative risks, (3) patients who are candidates for surgical procedures should be selected carefully after evaluation by a multidisciplinary team with medical, surgical, psychiatric, and nutritional expertise, (4) the operation be performed by a surgeon substantially experienced with the appropriate procedures and working in a clinical setting with adequate support for all aspects of management and assessment, and (5) lifelong medical surveillance after surgical therapy is a necessity. The full text of the consensus panel's statement follows.