Fluoroscopic evaluation of the bariatric surgery patient

Academic Article


  • Weight loss surgery remains the most effective intervention for addressing obesity, and has been shown to lead to sustained weight loss, decreased morbidity, and prolonged life expectancy. With the number of bariatric procedures performed in the United States increasing from close to 160,000 in 2011 to over 250,000 in 2018, it is apparent that bariatric surgery has become a widely accepted weight-loss strategy for many patients. A variety of surgical techniques and imaging modalities are available to the abdominal radiologist to evaluate bariatric patients. Relative to other imaging methods used to evaluate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, fluoroscopy is noninvasive, safe, inexpensive and, most importantly, provides dynamic images in real time. The fluoroscopic imaging exam performed by the radiologist is patient-specific, and depends primarily on the pre- vs. postoperative status of the patient, as well as any specific signs or symptoms the patient is experiencing. In terms of protocol, fluoroscopic imaging of the GI tract with barium may consist of a single-contrast exam (low-density barium contrast agent), or it may comprise a dual-phase exam, with a double-contrast phase (high-density barium contrast agent combined with an effervescent) followed by a single-contrast phase (low-density barium agent). The main challenge in fluoroscopic evaluation of the bariatric surgery patient is patient positioning. Finally, communication between the radiologist and the surgeon is crucial to maximizing the value of fluoroscopy.
  • Authors

    Pubmed Id

  • 10878169
  • Author List

  • Canon C; Grams J
  • Start Page

  • 3
  • End Page

  • 7
  • Volume

  • 49
  • Issue

  • 6