Balancing Bariatric Benefits


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Gastric bypass and other weight loss procedures — collectively known as “Bariatric Surgery,” help people who are obese shed extra pounds. Worldwide, about 580 thousand people undergo these procedures each year. But did you know bariatric surgery offers benefits beyond weight loss?

More than two out of every five adults in the US are obese. Bariatric surgery helps many of these people drop weight, but new research at Cleveland Clinic is showing it can also do much more!

Cleveland Clinic, Cardiologist, Amgad Mentias, MD, says “We found that patients with morbidity who underwent bariatric surgery had significantly lower risk of death and also heart failure, and heart attack, and stroke.”

Another study published in JAMA found obese adults who lost weight with bariatric surgery had a 32 percent lower risk of developing cancer and a 48 percent lower risk of cancer-related death compared to those who didn’t have surgery. Other research has shown bariatric surgery puts type 2 diabetes into remission, lessens joint pain, relieves depression, and even improves fertility. It’s also effective for sleep apnea. More than 80 percent of people experience remission of their sleep apnea one year after surgery.

Doctor Mentias says, “If a patient was diagnosed with obesity, they should not delay the decision to seek help if they have been trying to lose weight and have not been very successful.”

Of course, as with any surgery, there are also risks such as infection, blood clots, bleeding and more. The bottom line: you need to talk to your doctor about both the benefits and the risks of bariatric surgery before making a decision.

While the numbers depend on the type of bariatric surgery you have, people often experience a 40 to 80 percent reduction in excess weight after having the procedure. The risk of death associated with bariatric surgery is about .1 percent and the likelihood of having a major complication is about 4 percent according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa,


REPORT #3023

BACKGROUND: Bariatric surgery is a gastric bypass surgery and weight loss procedure. The surgery consists of changing your digestive system to help you lose weight. The procedure is known as a last resort and should only take place when diet and exercise changes have had no effect due to preexisting health issues. Some bariatric procedures will control and portion how much you eat, while others will lessen your body’s access to retain nutrients. Extreme procedures will consist of both. This is a procedure that can impose great risk on an individual and requires many lifestyle changes to daily diet and physical activity routines. Bariatric surgery can also offer many benefits though and ensure longer life spans and health benefits for those who undergo the procedure. The surgeries are performed to help those that are obese so more serious conditions such as heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and Type 2 Diabetes do not take place. Bariatric surgery is only for those who have a BMI considered obese. The procedure will also require long term checkup appointments and close watch of diet, exercise, and various lifestyle additions.


THE STUDY: A study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic shows that Bariatric Surgery corresponds to a reduction in risk of death and adverse cardiovascular implications with obese patients. This study was published in the American College of Cardiology and found that the cardiovascular improvements of elder patients struggling with obesity were noteworthy. This study also proved that elderly patients benefited in safety precautions and risks in comparison to other major surgeries. Another study that was published in Jama discovered that the patients that underwent bariatric surgery were at a lower risk for developing cancer compared to those who did not a receive a surgery. The surgery was also found to be effective for sleep apnea.


NEW REGULATIONS: The guidelines for Bariatric Surgery were set out more than twenty years ago. The new regulations now state that more patients will and should receive access to this surgery. Stacy Brethauer, MD, a surgeon at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus said that many obese Americans could benefit tremendously from bariatric surgery if the means could be covered easier. New guidelines for the surgery include a BMI ranging from 30-34.9 kg/m2. This is lower than the previous setting point of 35. Patients suffering from Class I Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are primary candidates for the surgery. Surgeons from Ohio Sate University reported that many obese patients can greatly benefit from Bariatric Surgery if insurance payments cover the procedures.


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Hope Buggey

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