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Skin Problems in the Lower Legs of Morbidly Obese Patients and the Possible Role of Bariatric Surgery | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2165-7904

Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy
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Research Article

Skin Problems in the Lower Legs of Morbidly Obese Patients and the Possible Role of Bariatric Surgery

William R Parkyn, Cheng Yee Chan and Andre M Van Rij*
Department of Surgical Sciences, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Corresponding Author : Andre M. Van Rij
Department of Surgical Sciences
Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago
PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel: +64 3 474 0999; Ext: 8834
Fax: +64 3 474 7622
E-mail: [email protected]
Received August 21, 2014; Accepted September 25, 2014; Published September 30, 2014
Citation: Parkyn WR, Chan CY, Van Rij AM (2014) Skin Problems in the Lower Legs of Morbidly Obese Patients and the Possible Role of Bariatric Surgery. J Obes Weight Loss Ther 4:230. doi:10.4172/2165-7904.1000230
Copyright: © 2014 Parkyn WR, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Objective: Anecdotally, lower leg skin changes in morbidly obese people appear much improved with weight loss following bariatric surgery. The objective of this study was to compare prevalence of lower leg symptoms in obese patients awaiting, and those who have had, bariatric surgery. Methods: An audit was undertaken, utilising questionnaires, to identify obesity-associated lower leg symptoms: swelling, itchiness, colour changes, hot/burning feeling, eczema and ulcers. There were three groups: those awaiting surgery (‘Obesity Clinic’), those who had surgery (‘Post-Surgery’), and those in ‘Post-Surgery’ recalling pre-operative symptoms (‘Pre-Surgery Recall’). Results: Participants totalled 117; 62 in ‘Obesity Clinic’ and 55 in ‘Post-Surgery’ (81.8% response rate). Overall prevalence of symptoms was significantly lower in ‘Post-Surgery’ (36.4%) compared to ‘Obesity Clinic’ (80.6%) and ‘Pre-Surgery Recall’ (74.5%) (p<0.0001). Individual symptoms were also similarly less prevalent. Conclusion: These results establish the high prevalence of lower leg skin changes in morbidly obese patients, which is significantly lower in those who have undergone bariatric surgery, possibly due to improved underlying venous stasis from decreased intra-abdominal pressure and weight. Decreased popliteal vein compression from weight loss, and weight reduction itself may also be contributing factors. This suggests a role for bariatric surgery in the potentially cost-effective treatment of lower leg symptoms in the morbidly obese.

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