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Bariatric Surgery

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.
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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.
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.
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.
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
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.
HEALTH
October 25, 2004 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
Eric DECKER knew at age 5 that he had a weight problem. "I was so much bigger than anyone else," he recalled. "I could never wear children's clothes as a kid." By age 10, Decker had seen dozens of doctors and nutritionists about his condition and was regularly attending meetings of Weight Watchers. A middle-school counselor once took him aside and advised: "Lose weight or grow a thick skin." He did lose weight but usually gained it back -- and then some.
NEWS
June 16, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Weight-loss surgery has been reserved for people who are morbidly obese, with a body mass index of 40 or greater. However, both gastric bypass surgery and adjustable gastric banding surgery is increasingly performed on less-obese people. That may be a good thing, according to a new study. Researchers at Stanford University looked at the outcomes of 981 people who had gastric bypass surgery. The patient's BMIs ranged from below 35 to greater than 50. The lower-BMI patients had better outcomes than the higher-BMI patients.
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.
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.
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