Gastric bypass surgery is often considered drastic and even overused, but when it comes to results, researchers say it is very effective at reducing the stubborn problem of obesity.
Maintaining weight loss over time is often a problem for patients struggling with obesity, and backsliding is more often than not an issue that overweight patients experience when battling excess weight.
But in the two-year period following weight loss due to a gastric bypass, patients for the most part are able to take weight off and keep it that way. Dr. Noel Williams is director of the Penn Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and Williams and colleagues sliced and diced data pertaining to long-term outcomes for patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery.
Williams and his colleagues examined nearly two dozen studies, encompassing 4,200 patients in the two-year period following their gastric bypasses. The team discovered that by and large, patients who opted for gastric bypass lost about two-thirds of what the researchers deemed “excess weight,” and further, patients were able to maintain that dramatic weight loss.
But weight loss in and of itself was not the only concern cited by researchers- diabetes, hypertension and other co-morbid conditions associated with obesity are also part of the equation. Williams explains:
“What we also need to look at is improvement in comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes (and) all these other problems in morbidly obese patients.”
Dr. Nicolas Christou is a bariatric surgeon at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Christou did not participate in the research directly, but he spoke to Reuters about the long-term benefits of gastric bypass:
“There is no question there is some weight regain, but I think the durability of the results (in terms of weight loss) is pretty well expected and confirmed by this particular paper.”
The gastric bypass study’s findings were published in the medical journal Annals of Surgery.