Bariatric Surgery Cuts Heart Attack, Stroke Deaths in Obese

A Florida woman has lost 65 pounds since undergoing weight loss surgery hypnosis.

 Bariatric surgery has been known to relieve risk of some weight-related complications, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Now, researchers believe obese people who undergo weight-loss surgery will also experience a reduced chance of dying from cardiovascular causes like heart attacks and strokes, National Public Radio reports.

According to researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, obese people who receive bariatric surgery were more likely to keep off the weight they lost and less likely to suffer fatal heart attacks and strokes than their peers of a similar weight who received traditional healthcare.

To reach their conclusions, the team examined 2,000 middle-aged obese people who underwent bariatric surgery as well as a similar number of obese people who opted to have additional healthcare. All participants had a body mass index of more than 40, which is considered morbidly obese by the U.S. government. The health and body weight of the participants was checked at two, 10, 15 and 20 years.

Those who had received bariatric surgery kept off about 16 to 23 percent of their original body weight, while other patients hovered around the same weight throughout the 20-year period.

But more than keeping the weight off, patients who underwent surgery also had longer life spans. Patients who opted for traditional healthcare suffered more heart attacks and strokes, with 49 cardiovascular deaths over the years. By contrast, only 28 patients who underwent surgery died of cardiovascular complications.

However, that doesn’t mean patients should always opt for bariatric surgery, one surgeon said. Dr. Edward Livingston of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center wrote an accompanying editorial to the study stating that the risks of a surgery that reduces stomach size were still great. “Because the expected health benefits do not necessarily exceed the risks of weight-loss operations, obese patients without other weight-related complications generally should not undergo bariatric surgery,” Livingston advised. NPR reported that risks involved in weight-loss surgery include infection, hemorrhage, hernia, stomach leakage, bowel obstruction and nutritional deficiencies. There is also no guarantee patients will keep off the weight they lose.
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