Monday, June 24, 2013

Is Bariatric Surgery Good For The Heart?

Every year, more than 2.6 million people die because of being obese or overweight. A person who is obese or overweight could be high-risk victim of many chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, hypertension (high blood pressure), Type-2 diabetes and even certain kinds of cancer.

When diet and exercise fail to lower the extra weight in the body, bariatric surgery is usually done especially when serious health problems arise because of the weight. The purpose of such surgery is to help lose weight by limiting how much one can eat or by reducing the absorption of nutrients, or both.

According to a study published on October 17, 2012 in journal ‘Heart’, bariatric surgery not only helps the obese cut the weight but also reduces risks of heart disease and stroke within a short period of time.

 from the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, picked up and analyzed 73 previous studies, covering nearly 20,000 people, which recorded weight and other health issues before and after bariatric surgery. 3 out of 4 of the patients were women, whose average age was 41.

They found that after the operation, participants lost on average 54 percent of their excess weight. 63, 73 and 65 percent of the patients showed improvement in high blood pressure, diabetes and blood cholesterol respectively.

The researchers also selected and reviewed a further 18 studies, covering 713 other patients, and found that bariatric surgery did lead to improvements in the heart function, like its ability to pump out and refill with blood.

Nevertheless, the review did have some limitations. For instance, it did not look at the same operative techniques or share the same criteria for measuring improvements, and there were also no follow-up or monitoring patients for a long time after their operation.

Yet according to the researchers, their analysis indicated that bariatric surgery is not just a cosmetic procedure but also a potentially life-saving alternative for the appropriate patients.

A word of caution is that bariatric surgery is a major procedure that could pose serious risks and side effects. Statistics show that there is a 0.3 percent risk of death, a 5 percent risk of intestinal obstruction and an 8 percent risk of an ulcer.

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