Yesterday I posted a feature about the research and latest information relating to the complications associated with WLS surgery. I got a lot of messages and whilst many who contacted me with their problems had gone through the mill, most still felt the surgery was worth it to them and that they would do it again. All stressed the need and gave thanks to their competent bariatric teams who helped to sort out their problems post-op. As a community we should strive to ensure that this is in place and if you’re pre-op make it a question you ask your team before signing on the dotted line.
And so onto today
and the flip side of the coin – the benefits and positives of WLS. There have been a deluge of postings on this just recently, not least because a study has been completed that shows some stunning health benefits of weight-loss surgery. I’m posting two here with contrasting styles. I don’t know which you prefer (it would be good to know for future features) – the more factual first or the more main-stream, headline-grabbing second. I see merits in both but feel a tad uncomfortable with the images used in the second but I present them to you unedited.
Stunning Health Benefits with Bariatric Surgery
Every now and then, a study provides a stunning view of clinical reality that hides in plain sight. Ian Douglas and colleagues have published such a study in PLOS Medicine this week that paints an unmistakable picture of good clinical outcomes for bariatric surgery in the UK.
In their study of outcomes for bariatric surgery in 3,882 patients they found that it helped to prevent diabetes, hypertension, angina, heart attacks, and sleep apnea. They found that it helped to put hypertension and type 2 diabetes into remission. Oh, and they also found “dramatic weight loss, sustained at least 4 years after surgery.” Commenting on these results, the PLOS editor Bruce Neal said:
These results suggest that widening the availability of bariatric surgery in the UK could provide substantial health benefits for many people who are morbidly obese. Indeed, the researchers calculate that, if the associations seen in this study are causal (an observational study cannot prove that a treatment causes a specific outcome), bariatric surgery could prevent and/or resolve many tens of thousands of cases of hypertension and type 2 diabetes and prevent similar numbers of cases of other obesity-related illnesses among the 1.4 million morbidly obese people living in the UK.
So exactly why is it that so many barriers remain to accessing this life changing care for a serious chronic disease?
Feature courtesy of conscienhealth.org
Weight-loss surgery ‘produces unrivalled health benefits’ for patients and NHS, study shows
Giving obese patients gastric weight-loss procedures could save thousands from serious conditions including heart attacks and Type 2 diabetes
Weight-loss surgery could prevent thousands of people in the UK suffering serious health conditions such as heart attacks and Type 2 diabetes, a study has shown.
Scientists compared rates of obesity-associated illnesses in 3,882 bariatric surgery patients and patients who had not undergone the procedures, which include by-passing the stomach or reducing its size.
They found that over a period of three and a half years, weight-loss surgery significantly improved existing Type 2 diabetes and lowered abnormally high blood pressure.
Applying the findings to the 1.4 million people believed to be morbidly obese in the UK, bariatric surgery could prevent 80,000 cases of high blood pressure, 40,000 cases of Type 2 diabetes and 5,000 heart attacks over four years, said the researchers.
Bariatric surgery is reserved for people who are very obese and is available on the NHS when other options including lifestyle changes have not been successful.
Lead scientist Dr Ian Douglas, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: “Obesity is one of the biggest health problems of our generation.
“Rates of cardiovascular disease, although slowly declining, are still alarmingly high while Type 2 diabetes is on the rise, affecting 3.5 million people in Britain. Finding effective ways to tackle the obesity crisis is therefore a key public health strategy.
“Whilst effective prevention is clearly needed, our findings show that as well as helping patients substantially lose weight, bariatric surgery improves serious obesity-related illnesses as well as reducing the risk of developing them.
“People having weight-loss surgery were 70 per cent less likely to have a heart attack, and those with Type 2 diabetes were nine times more likely to see major improvements in their diabetes. We also found positive effects on angina and the debilitating condition obstructive sleep apnoea.”
The study, published in the journal Public Library of Science Medicine, found that gastric bypass was the most effective form of bariatric surgery, leading to an estimated average weight loss of 38 kilograms (six stone) over four years.
Co-author Professor Rachel Batterham, from University College London, said: “Bariatric surgery is safe and produces unrivalled health benefits that are life-changing for patients and cost-saving for the NHS. Unfortunately, less than 1% of the patients who could benefit from this surgery currently receive surgery.
“This represents a major missed opportunity in terms of improving health and economic savings. Action is now needed to remedy this situation.”
Feature courtesy of The Telegraph