Bariatric Surgery Has Long-Term Benefits for Diabetes, Heart Disease

A study recently published in the obesity-themed issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association confirms that bariatric surgery results in greater sustained weight loss in the morbidly obese than no surgery. More revelatory, perhaps, the study found that bariatric surgery has two additional benefits: it helps patients manage both diabetes and heart disease.

diabetes finger-prick test“These findings are important considering the rapid increase in total numbers of bariatric surgical operations performed in the United States and worldwide, and may have significant ramifications for the projected 31 million U.S. individuals meeting criteria for bariatric surgery,” the study’s authors wrote.

In short, weight loss surgery is not only a vital tool to treat conditions such as joint pain and sleep apnea, it is also an effective option for treating type 2 diabetes and managing cardiovascular health by reducing high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

“In contrast, cardiovascular and metabolic status of severely obese control participants generally worsened during the six-year period,” the authors wrote.

The efficacy of bariatric surgery as a treatment for obesity has been well documented for more than 20 years. Studies of the procedure have demonstrated that it can reduce the rate of mortality from 40 percent to 23 percent. Long-term follow up of bariatric surgery patients, however, has been relatively scarce. The latest research study tracked 1,156 participants between the ages of 18 to 72 who were severely obese, following them for more than six years. Study participants were divided into three groups: one group had undergone gastric bypass surgery, one group had not undergone surgery but were seeking it, and a third group was not interested in the surgery.

The patients who had undergone bariatric surgery maintained much of their initial weight loss, averaging a 28 percent reduction from their starting weight six years after bariatric surgery. Moreover, fully 62 percent of those who had the surgery performed saw their diabetes go into remission. In addition, patients who had a gastric bypass had lower blood pressure and cholesterol than those patients who had not undergone bariatric surgery.

Ted Adams, a faculty member at the University Of Utah School of Medicine, where the study was conducted, told the Salt Lake Tribune that the results of the study confirm “other studies that have demonstrated bariatric or weight loss surgery appears to be the most successful treatment or therapy for severely obese individuals.”

Dr. Provost is pleased with these findings, noting that they add further evidence to the mounting body of scientific research supporting the efficacy of bariatric surgery.

“I’ve seen thousands of patients get their lives back because of weight loss surgery,” said Dr. Provost. “I was glad to see the latest findings that the surgery can have such comprehensive benefits long-term, since there has been less research done in this area. It’s great to have still more confirmation that something I am so passionate about can benefit my patients in so many ways.”

To find out whether you qualify for weight loss surgery and learn which bariatric surgery procedure may be most appropriate, call Provost Bariatrics at 254-724-2397.

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