Emergency department management of patients with complications of bariatric surgery

Emerg Med Pract. 2019 Jul;21(7):1-28. Epub 2019 Jul 1.


As bariatric procedures have become more common, more of these patients present to the emergency department postoperatively. The most common complaints in these patients are abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, though each of the surgical procedures will present with specific complications, and management will vary according to the surgical procedure performed. Computed tomography is often the primary imaging modality, though it has it limits, and plain film imaging is appropriate in some cases. This review presents an overview of the various bariatric procedures, highlighting the potential complications of each, both surgical and nonsurgical, and provides evidence-based recommendations regarding patient management and disposition.

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery / adverse effects*
  • Bariatric Surgery / methods
  • Emergency Medicine / methods*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / trends
  • Humans
  • Patients
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy*