Saturday, September 22, 2012

Does Weight Loss Surgery Make You Healthier? Maybe Not

    http://www.dietdoctor.com/



   Weight loss surgery, cutting away healthy stomach organs, is promoted as the only effective treatment for obesity. But the cracks are starting to show now – not surprisingly. Yesterday a 20-year follow-up of the largest study on weight loss surgery was published and it could be the largest setback yet.
       It turns out that obese people undergoing weight loss surgery get an INCREASED need for medical treatment, even years after the surgery. Despite their weight loss! For example they need more inpatient care in hospitals. During the first six years after surgery the increase is very large (see figure above).
The cause is either complications from the surgery (like bleeding, infections, leakage of stomach contents into the abdominal cavity) or long-term dangers like bowel obstruction, anemia, gallstones or malnutrition.

      Obese people who did not receive surgery ultimately needed less medical care. So how healthy is it to lose weight by surgery?
There was also an increased need for psychiatric medications (e.g. for depression and anxiety) for weight loss surgery patients.
      We need a safer and wiser treatment for obesity. Amputating healthy organs is just an emergency solution. We need to stop giving simplistic calorie-fixated advice (the least effective advice in study after study) before exposing patients to risky surgery. These operations should be the last resort. Thus patients should first be offered advice on low carb (the most effective advice in study after study) and adequate support.
Weight loss surgery may be extremely lucrative for hospitals (the complications are an added bonus!) but if you are a patient: Be warned. And make sure you have good insurance.

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