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Bariatric Surgery

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.
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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.
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.
NEWS
August 16, 2010
In its potential to fight Type 2 diabetes, bariatric surgery is looking good -- very good. Bariatric surgeons themselves noticed the operation's potential some time ago, as these earlier stories noted: Gastric bypass: Is it a diabetes fix? Weight-loss surgery may soon be widely used Then other studies began to confirm the operation's ability to help patients quickly get control of their disease. Now we have a study, published Monday in Archives of Surgery, analyzing diabetes-drug use and healthcare costs in the wake of bariatric surgery.
NEWS
January 3, 2012 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Weight-loss surgery clearly cuts the risk of heart attacks, strokes and death from cardiovascular disease, a new study shows. But the research also raises questions regarding which patients benefit the most from surgery. The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. , is the first controlled clinical trial to measure the impact of bariatric surgery on heart health. The Swedish Obese Subjects study compared 2,010 middle-aged, obese people who had weight-loss surgery with 2,037 similar obese people who received normal medical care, which usually included counseling on lifestyle choices that affect weight.
HEALTH
January 15, 2007 | From Times wire reports
More than 120,000 obese Americans had some kind of surgery to help them lose weight in 2004, with the biggest increase among middle-aged people, according to a study released Wednesday. In 1998, 772 people age 55 to 64 had gastric bypass, stapling or some similar procedure known as bariatric surgery to help weight loss. But that number ballooned to 15,086 in 2004, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported.
NEWS
October 12, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Weight-loss surgery for morbidly obese adolescents has become more popular even though many questions about safety and effectiveness remain, according to a commentary published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine . Until more is known about the long-term effects of such surgery, stringent requirements to qualify for the surgery should remain in place, said the author of the report. Weight-loss, or bariatric, surgery is much more common among adults, and studies show it produces many benefits for most patients.
NEWS
March 10, 2011 | Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
Alcohol can be a minefield for anyone trying to lose weight. But for bariatric surgery patients, drinking can become increasingly problematic, a new  study has found. Changes in the way the body absorbs and metabolizes alcohol after gastric bypass mean these patients need less alcohol to register intoxication on a breathalyzer, says a study published recently in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons . After drinking a single 5-ounce glass of red wine before their surgery, the study's 19 subjects had an average  breath alcohol content of .024% -- well below the level at which most states consider a driver intoxicated.
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
January 3, 2010 | By Shari Roan
After spending the majority of her 48 years trying, and failing, to slim down, Veronica Mahaffey was still 50 pounds overweight -- not morbidly obese by a long shot, but still far from the size she wanted. Worried about her health, she called a San Diego weight-loss surgery clinic last spring and asked for help. She was told no. At 185 pounds and with a body mass index of 28, the Ramona mother of four was not heavy enough to meet medical guidelines or insurance company qualifications for weight-loss surgery.
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