For the first time, surgeons have linked internal hernia with excessive and rapid weight loss after undergoing minimally invasive surgical treatment of morbid obesity.
Internal hernia is a defect in the abdominal cavity that allows abdominal structures, such as the intestines, to move out of their natural position.
However, the condition can be corrected surgically before it leads to potentially serious bowel obstruction.
Based on findings from a study presented at the 2008 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons, the surgeons are encouraging physicians who see patients after bariatric surgery to evaluate or refer those who have lost more weight than expected for a surgical consultation if they also have intermittent or persistent abdominal pain.
“Surgeons who perform this kind of procedure should be aware that patients who are rapidly losing weight may be at higher risk for internal hernia, and they should monitor them for signs of the condition.
This is also the case for general surgeons who see patients in an emergency department. It’s our job to educate general surgeons who see patients who have abdominal pain and have lost a tremendous amount of weight in a quicker than expected period of time to be on the lookout for internal hernia as a possible cause of the symptoms,” according to Eric S. Bour, MD.
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