Here’s the latest news you need to know about weight loss surgery:
1. The Death Rate Is Higher After Gastric Bypass Surgery
According to a University of Pittsburgh study, 6% of patients who have bariatric weight loss surgery die within 5 years.
Compared to the general population, these patients also have higher rates of death from heart disease and suicide.
More than 16,000 patients from Pennsylvania were studied. Each of these patients had weight loss surgery sometime between 1995 and 2004.
The researchers believe that the death rate could be reduced by better follow-up with the patients after bariatric surgery.
They put particular emphasis on controlling diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.
2. Weight Loss Surgery May Cause Nutritional Deficiencies
Two studies from Washington Hospital Center point to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth after weight loss surgery as a possible complication with serious effects.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth affects the absorption of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients like calcium and zinc.
It can affect some gastric bypass patients even if they take nutritional supplements after surgery.
I’ve blogged before about the effects of vitamin deficiencies from weight loss surgery in Weight Loss, Hair Loss, Memory Loss.
3. Almost 20% Of Patients Don’t Receive Psychiatric Clearance For Bariatric Surgery
The psych evaluation isn’t designed to prevent patients from ever having the surgery.
It’s meant to identify and address problems that might interfere with the success of the surgery. Usually, that means a delay, not a permanent cancellation of weight loss surgery.
The most common reasons that patients aren’t cleared for surgery are frequent overeating to cope with emotional problems, eating disorders, and uncontrolled psychiatric problems.
4. Gastric Bypass Patients Who Lose Weight Before Surgery May Have Shorter Hospital Stays and Faster Weight Loss
Researchers at Geisinger Health System studied 884 gastric bypass patients.
The patients who lost over 5% of their excess weight before surgery were more likely to be released from the hospital in 4 days or less.
Those who lost over 10% of their excess weight before surgery were more than twice as likely to have lost 70% of their excess weight a year after surgery.
The researchers believe that losing weight before surgery reduces complications from diabetes, high blood pressure, potential blood clots, and more.
Of course, it’s up to you and your doctor to decide if the risks outweight the benefits of weight loss surgery.