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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Nutrition & Wellness Channel
Reported January 22, 2013

Is Weight Loss Surgery Safe?


(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Obesity is a serious health concern in the United States, as well as in other countries. Although some place all of the blame on the obese individuals, it can be very difficult to drop the weight. 
Surgeries like gastric banding have opened up more options for people looking to shed a lot of pounds, but are they safe and effective? Thanks to an Australian study, it is now known that gastric bypass surgery is not only safe, it also works very well. 
Australian researchers followed 3,227 gastric-banding patients who underwent the surgery between 1994 and 2011. How much weight was lost, complications, and later surgeries were all recorded for each patient. 
On average, the patients that had the surgery 10 to 15 years ago lost 26 kilograms (about 57 pounds) and no one died as a result of the initial gastric banding surgery or from any of the related later surgeries.
"These results show that when you have a significant problem with obesity, a long-term solution is available," Professor Paul O'Brien from the Centre for Obesity Research and Education at Monash University in Melbourne was quoted as saying.
Around half of the patients involved in the study did need later procedures, but with newer gastric banding techniques, the number of people having subsequent surgeries should decline in the future. 
"The study shows a marked reduction of revisional procedures with the introduction of the new version of the Lap-Band 6 years ago,” Professor O’Brien was quoted as saying. 
The gastric banding surgery also helped patients with more than just losing weight; it also reduced issues with type 2 diabetes.
"In obese patients with type 2 diabetes, weight loss after gastric banding can lead to effective control of blood sugar levels without the need for medication in about three-quarters of cases," Professor O'Brien was quoted as saying. 
Overall, the important message to take away from this study is that obese individuals hoping to become healthier and lose weight have options that are safe. 
Source: Annals of Surgery, January 2013


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