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Bariatric Surgery

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NEWS
August 1, 2012 | By Nika Soon-Shiong, Los Angeles Times
Twenty years from now, 2 out of 5 Americans will be obese, according to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. For many of these people, dieting and exercise will not be enough to help them lose weight. They may need bariatric surgery. And if you wind up being one of them, your best bet is to go to a hospital that performs a high volume of bariatric surgeries, according to a new study from Healthgrades, an independent healthcare ratings company based in Denver. Bariatric surgery alters digestion to both increase metabolism and lower blood sugar levels.
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SCIENCE
March 31, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Bariatric surgery did more to improve symptoms of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol after three years than intensive treatment with drugs alone, according to new results from a closely watched clinical trial involving patients who were overweight or obese. Study participants who had gastric bypass surgery or sleeve gastrectomy also lost more weight, had better kidney function and saw greater improvements in their quality of life than their counterparts who did not go under the knife, researchers reported Monday.
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SCIENCE
June 19, 2008 | Thomas H. Maugh II and Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writers
Gastric bypass surgery -- a treatment for obesity that is already known to reduce heart disease and diabetes -- decreases the incidence of cancer by 80% over the five years following the procedure, Canadian researchers reported Wednesday. The incidence of two of the most common tumors, breast and colon, was reduced by 85% and 70%, respectively, Dr. Nicolas Christou of McGill University in Montreal said.
SCIENCE
March 28, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Scientists and physicians who study the treatment of obesity have been puzzled for some years over bariatric surgery and its benefits.”Stomach stapling” surgery was long seen as a “plumbing adjustment” that prompts weight loss by restricting the stomach's capacity. But mounting evidence demonstrates that it does much more than that. Bariatric surgery appears to set in motion a host of physiological and psychological changes beyond weight loss, in many cases resolving type 2 diabetes, righting problematic cholesterol readings, and not just curbing, but changing, appetites.
NEWS
July 8, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Having bariatric surgery doesn't mean you have to take it easy on exercise. A study finds that after surgery, exercising regularly at a moderate to vigorous pace may be perfectly fine -- and might improve one's quality of life. The study, published online recently in the journal Obesity , assigned 33 people with an average BMI of 41 (considered class III obesity, or morbidly obese) to either a 12-week exercise program or to a control group. The exercise group started out expending 500 calories a week, gradually increasing that to reach a goal of burning 2,000 calories a week.
HEALTH
November 20, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
The risk of complications such as bleeding and infection in patients undergoing an increasingly popular weight-loss surgery varies drastically based on which hospital performs it, a large study released last week found. The study of 86,520 procedures found that patients undergoing so-called bariatric surgery at a highly rated hospital are 66% less likely to suffer from a complication, including bleeding, pneumonia and heart problems, than at a poorly rated hospital.
NEWS
April 5, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
For patients who are obese and have Type 2 diabetes, gastric bypass can be a remarkable cure: After such surgery, more than three-quarters of such patients can significantly reduce or discontinue their diabetes drugs within a year, studies show. With that in mind, diabetes and obesity specialists meeting this week in New York City returned again and again to a central question: how to deliver benefits of bariatric surgery without the risks of major surgery? One proposal: a 2-foot gastrointestinal "sleeve" that can be implanted through the mouth and that lines a small part of the small intestine , just below the stomach.
SCIENCE
February 21, 2013 | Melissa Healy
In the span of 15 years, the number of bariatric surgeries performed in the United States has grown more than 16-fold to roughly 220,000 per year, gaining cachet as a near-panacea for obesity. Despite the daunting price tag, mounting research has boosted hopes that the stomach-stapling operations could reduce the nation's healthcare bill by weaning patients off the costly drugs and frequent doctor visits that come with chronic obesity-related diseases like diabetes and arthritis.
SCIENCE
March 31, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Bariatric surgery did more to improve symptoms of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol after three years than intensive treatment with drugs alone, according to new results from a closely watched clinical trial involving patients who were overweight or obese. Study participants who had gastric bypass surgery or sleeve gastrectomy also lost more weight, had better kidney function and saw greater improvements in their quality of life than their counterparts who did not go under the knife, researchers reported Monday.
HEALTH
July 31, 2006 | Melissa Healy, Times Staff Writer
The before-and-after pictures are striking and seductive, and Americans love a quick fix almost as much as they love a heaping buffet. As a result, the United States has seen explosive growth in the popularity of bariatric surgery. The procedures, which reshape the gastrointestinal tract to limit a patient's intake and absorption of calories, have jumped from some 13,000 in 1998 to a predicted 170,000 this year.
OPINION
December 1, 2013 | Doyle McManus
Don't look now, but auditions for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination are already underway in Washington. And the flavor of the moment is - governors. First came Chris Christie, the pugnacious governor of New Jersey, who won reelection by a landslide last month and almost immediately headed to the nation's capital for a burst of speeches and television appearances. Days later, a less pyrotechnic (but equally combative) chief executive arrived to do the Washington media rounds: Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
SCIENCE
November 15, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
The weight loss that follows a successful bariatric surgery makes most patients feel younger. But a new study suggests that following bariatric surgery, some patients show signs of being biologically younger, as well. At Stanford University, researchers looked for evidence of change in bariatric surgery patients by measuring their telomeres -- regions of repeating DNA sequences at the end of a chromosome that grow a little shorter with age and chronic illness. Telomeres are considered a biomarker of the aging process.
SCIENCE
November 13, 2013 | By Melissa Healy, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Fifteen years after they have weight-loss surgery, almost a third of patients who had Type 2 diabetes at the time they were operated on remain free of the metabolic disorder, a new study says. And six years following such surgery, patients had shaved their probability of suffering a heart attack over the next 10 years by 40%, their stroke risk by 42%, and their likelihood of dying over the next five years by 18%, additional research has concluded. The two studies, both presented Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery in Atlanta, offer the first indications of weight-loss surgery's longer-term health benefits for patients.
SCIENCE
October 22, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
While diet and exercise are available to all, bariatric surgery is likely to remain a solution available to just a small fraction of the 90 million Americans who are obese. But when it comes to inducing weight loss and improving obesity-related health conditions, a new study has found that there really is no contest between the two: Procedures such as gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric banding beat diet and exercise. By a long shot. A new study published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal finds that among subjects followed for at least six months and as long as two years, those who got weight-loss surgery lost on average 57 more pounds than those in nonsurgical weight programs.
BUSINESS
August 2, 2013 | By Lisa Zamosky
Americans love to look good, but insurers are often reluctant to pay the bills to help us look better. Last year we spent nearly $11 billion on cosmetic procedures, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Of the more than 10 million procedures performed, the most requested was breast augmentation. But Cameo Wichinsky, a 42-year-old investment fund manager living in Santa Monica, wants to take her figure in the opposite direction. Having long lived with the discomfort of breasts large enough to cause shoulder and neck pain and to limit her level of physical activity, she's ready to go under the knife to reduce her breast size and, she hopes, improve her quality of life.
SCIENCE
May 30, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
Of the many powers mothers wield, few are more extraordinary than the power to nudge a child's health prospects in one direction or another simply by having incubated that child in her womb. Research is uncovering more and more instances in which a pregnant woman's own health issues powerfully influence those of her child. A new study demonstrates this is especially true of her weight status, and shows that weight-loss surgery can change the picture dramatically. Research has already shown that the children that obese women bear before and after they have undergone bariatric surgery are different from each other.
SCIENCE
March 28, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Scientists and physicians who study the treatment of obesity have been puzzled for some years over bariatric surgery and its benefits.”Stomach stapling” surgery was long seen as a “plumbing adjustment” that prompts weight loss by restricting the stomach's capacity. But mounting evidence demonstrates that it does much more than that. Bariatric surgery appears to set in motion a host of physiological and psychological changes beyond weight loss, in many cases resolving type 2 diabetes, righting problematic cholesterol readings, and not just curbing, but changing, appetites.
NEWS
March 27, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots Blog
A pair of landmark studies demonstrated that weight-loss surgery may be the best solution for Type 2 diabetics with poor control over their blood sugar. So, now what? Experts say that diabetes care is likely to undergo a profound shift. But before diabetics get in line for space on the operating table, a lot of questions need to be answered. Not least of those, say clinicians, is who will do those operations, how well and for how much. Bariatric surgery has exploded in recent years, and with that growth have come concerns about quality of care and patient safety.
SCIENCE
May 7, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
An estimated 220,000 Americans undergo some type of bariatric surgery each year, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has revealed that he is one of them. The high-profile Republican - who hasn't revealed his weight but is estimated to tip the scales at between 300 and 350 pounds - said he went under the knife for a 40-minute lap band procedure on a Saturday morning in February. In less than three months, he has lost about 40 pounds, according to sources cited in various reports . A lap band procedure involves fitting an inflatable silicone ring around the stomach to reduce food intake.
SCIENCE
February 21, 2013 | Melissa Healy
In the span of 15 years, the number of bariatric surgeries performed in the United States has grown more than 16-fold to roughly 220,000 per year, gaining cachet as a near-panacea for obesity. Despite the daunting price tag, mounting research has boosted hopes that the stomach-stapling operations could reduce the nation's healthcare bill by weaning patients off the costly drugs and frequent doctor visits that come with chronic obesity-related diseases like diabetes and arthritis.
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