Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States today, with more than one-third of American adults qualifying as obese. An increasing number of women are turning to bariatric surgery to combat excess weight and reduce the risk of death, with the number of these surgeries among women increasing nine-fold between 1998 and 2004. Women accounted for 82 percent of all weight-loss surgeries in 2004.
With more women choosing to undergo weight loss surgery, women’s health nurses are at the frontlines of patient counselling for this lifesaving intervention, according to two new columns in the February/March issue of Nursing for Women’s Health, along with the premiere issue of Health for Women. Both columns are authored by Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Dr. Clancy advises that bariatric surgery, while a lifesaver in many instances, is still not a risk-free procedure that requires patients to consider the potential complications and to engage in follow-up care. According to Clancy, nurses can play a role in the surgery’s success by counselling women on lifestyle changes that must accompany the surgery.
“We’re very excited to be working with AWHONN to disseminate important evidence-based information on women’s health," said Dr. Clancy. “This partnership gives us a unique the opportunity to provide the same information in appropriate formats to women and their clinicians so they can be partners in health care."
(Source: Nursing for Women’s Health: Karen Addis: Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses: March 2008)