Background: Patients undergoing bariatric surgery are ideal candidates for a clinical pathway, as it is a standardized, common, and elective procedure and most patients have a predictable clinical course.
Objective: The aim of developing this clinical pathway is the result of a wide consolidated experience with patients undergoing laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the purpose of which is to minimize complications without affecting patient care or the outcome of the procedure.
Patients and method: The clinical pathway was applied to the 311 patients that received a laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. The clinical pathway includes a temporary matrix, which shows the sequence of events that will occur on each of the days between patient admission and discharge. It also includes medical interventions, nursing care, medication, determinations, physical activity, diet, and information for the patient.
Results: Complications occurred in 36 patients (11.5%): 14 patients (4.5%) during admission and 22 patients (7%) after discharge. Of the 22 patients presenting with complications after discharge, 12 required readmission to hospital (3.8%), and the other 10 were treated on an ambulatory basis.
Conclusions: We can say that, because of its frequency and predictability, laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is nowadays a procedure for systematization using a clinical pathway, providing it is controlled by a team with a wide experience in bariatric surgery. This clinical pathway is to offer our patients with morbid obesity a laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass with the smallest possible range of complications.