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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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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
May 9, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
Gastric bypass surgery for weight loss is as safe for the elderly as it is for younger patients, researchers said Monday. Several small studies reported previously have yielded mixed results about safety in those over 65, but a new study on a much larger group of patients finds no increased risk from the procedure. Elderly patients do end up spending more time in the hospital after the surgery, however, said Dr. Robert B. Dorman of the University of Minnesota at a Digestive Diseases Week meeting in Chicago.
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.
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.
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
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.
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