Gastric Bypass Not Magic Surgery

The HealthGal Health Guide
  • How many people who are "morbidly obese" undergo gastric bypass yearly? 

    Recent statistics confirm about 200,000 patients undergo bypass surgery yearly to remedy their weight problem.


    How many of those 200,000 patients hit a goal weight and maintain that goal weight long term?

    More than half the patients regain at least 20% of their weight within the first couple to several years post surgery.


    Interestingly enough, even if you are a high profile celebrity, seen on TV or in the news on a regular basis, you may still struggle post-surgery.  So the fact that these high profile individuals have the added pressure or scrutiny of being in the public eye - it's not enough to necessarily deter weight gain or struggles with weight, post surgery.  Carnie Wilson and Al Roker are two such individuals.  So according to Newswise, researchers at Wake Forest University decided to launch a new program geared specifically to patient follow up care post bariatric surgery.  The doctor who heads the new team pointed out that, "you wouldn't spend $25,000 on a home remodel and then not maintain it."  He finds it shocking, then, that people would undergo this surgery and then not do the required eating and exercise program needed to maintain their goal weight.  Of course an associated benefit of changing the way you live can be lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers thanks to those healthier habits.

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    One huge problem that bypass surgery patients face is the lack of close and long term supervision post-surgery.  Certainly before surgery they are screened and counseled to start changing eating and physical activity patterns, but after a few months post surgery, they can easily begin to fall back on old behavior patterns without a serious support system and specific dietary and exercise supervisions.  The six month trial at Wake Forest University will compare two post-surgery groups.  One group will receive specific aerobic and resistance training 3 days a week, supervised by an exercise physiologist.  A second group will receive "standard" post operative counseling and care.  The trial will look at sustained weight loss and other health parameters in the two groups and compare results.


    We already know that patients post bypass surgery who even lose a small amount of weight often lower their risk of diabetes type 2 or go into remission, with normal blood sugar results.  We also know that most patients post surgery experience weight loss which immediately helps quality of life issues.  Finally, we know that gastric bypass surgery typically reduces inflammation in the body, and inflammation is associated with risk for developing heart disease and diabetes type 2.


Published On: July 11, 2011