Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bariatric surgery by itself isn't enough

Los Angeles, CA
Throw out any thoughts that weight reduction surgery is a shortcut to svelte. The surgery, performed on about 200,000 Americans a year, is a last resort to rescue people in danger of dying early from the health consequences of their extreme obesity.

After years of question marks, studies now show the surgery saves lives, sustains long-term weight loss and combats -- maybe even reverses -- diabetes. But although it's much safer today, it still results in the death of 1 in 200 patients and can result in complications such as blood clots, hernias or bowel obstructions. Patients can end up back in the hospital to repair intestinal leaks that can lead to serious infection.

Because of these complications, a National Institutes of Health panel of experts has recommended the surgery only for people considered morbidly obese, roughly 100 pounds or more over their ideal body weight. People whose weight is that far out of control face a risk of death from diabetes or heart disease five to seven times greater than those of normal weight.

"These people don't have a lot of options," says Dr. John Morton, director of bariatric surgery at Stanford's Center for Weight Loss Surgery. "When someone is drowning, I throw them a life preserver. I don't have time to build a bridge."

About 14,000 Californians undergo weight-loss surgery each year. But according to American Society for Bariatric Surgery guidelines, more than 1 million Californians qualify medically: those with a body mass index of 40 or more, or 35 or more if they have conditions such as heart disease or diabetes.
Read more, Bariatric surgery by itself isn't enough.

Labels: ,

 Subscribe to Gastric Bypass Surgery News

Bookmark and Share
posted by iLitigate at


Post a Comment

<< Home