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May 19, 1987 | MARCIDA DODSON, Times Staff Writer
A UC Irvine physician has concluded that the gastric bubble--a balloon-like device that is inflated inside the stomach to promote weight loss--is ineffective after he studied patients who lost the same amount of weight whether or not they had the bubble. Dr. Hooshang Meshkinpour, an associate professor of gastroenterology, says the 21 patients in his six-month study had the bubble inserted for three months and then underwent a "sham" procedure and had no bubble for the next three months.
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.
September 7, 2009 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
An overweight woman who has weight-loss surgery before becoming pregnant may help break the cycle of obesity in her family, according to a new study. Researchers found that children born to women who had weight-loss surgery before pregnancy have improved heart health and a lower risk of obesity compared with their siblings who were born before the mother had surgery. The study was published last week in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Previous research shows a woman's weight and her tendency to develop diabetes and heart disease can influence the long-term health of her fetus, predisposing the child to metabolic problems related to obesity.
July 19, 2004 | Kelly Young
People who undergo gastric bypass surgery -- a procedure used to treat those who are morbidly obese -- often experience a loss of appetite after the procedure. But doctors haven't quite understood the reasons why. Now researchers at Emory University in Atlanta have found that, within minutes after the surgery, people experience a drop in levels of a hormone that helps induce the hunger sensation. The stomach is the main factory for the hormone ghrelin.
Dr. John Walsh, internationally known for his pioneering studies of how gastric acid functions and of treatments for ulcers and other diseases it can cause, has died at age 61. Walsh, research chief of the UCLA Digestive Diseases Division and the Straus Professor of Medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine, died Wednesday of complications after a heart attack, UCLA spokesmen said. The highly respected doctor served as president of the American Gastroenterological Assn. in 1994-95.
October 26, 2009 | Shari Roan
The discovery came about by accident more than a decade ago: Weight-loss surgery often led to dramatic improvements in the control of Type 2 diabetes, often before patients had even left the hospital. Today, evidence of the connection is so solid that some doctors say surgery should be considered as a treatment for diabetes, regardless of a person's weight or desire to lose weight. "We thought diabetes was an incurable, progressive disease," says Dr. Walter J. Pories, a professor of surgery at East Carolina University and a leading researcher on weight-loss surgery.
March 27, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
In the latest of a slew of studies examining the role of the so-called microbiome -- the mix of microscopic critters that colonize our bodies and our environment -- in human health, Harvard researchers said Wednesday that part of the reason that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery works so well in helping people lose weight is because it causes changes in the mix of bacteria in our bellies. The discovery suggests that doctors might someday be able to mimic the microbial effects of weight-loss surgery without putting patients under the knife, said Dr. Lee Kaplan, director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital and co-senior author of a report detailing the research in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
May 9, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II / For the Booster Shots blog
A reusable grocery bag left in a hotel bathroom caused an outbreak of norovirus-induced diarrhea and nausea that struck nine of 13 members of a girls' soccer team in October, Oregon researchers reported Wednesday. The outbreak also affected many family members after the team returned home. Norovirus is a common, easily spread virus that causes various forms of gastric distress. It is "the perfect human pathogen" because it is highly contagious, rapidly and prolifically spread, produces limited immunity and is only moderately virulent, which allows it to continue spreading, said Dr. Aron J. Hall of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an editorial accompanying the report in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
January 8, 2013 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Al Roker went sans underpants in George W. Bush's White House - but it wasn't because he was feeling sexy on the job. Rather, the "Today" show weatherman had accidentally pooped his pants on his way in. He'd included the anecdote in his new book, "Never Goin' Back," released a week ago, and discussed it in an interview with Nancy Snyderman on Sunday's "Dateline. " By Tuesday, however, after the tale of his tail took on a life of its own, he found himself on "Today" discussing it again.
November 2, 1986 | ROBERT STEINBROOK, Times Medical Writer
American Edwards Laboratories of Santa Ana has warned doctors to curtail use of a controversial stomach balloon treatment for obesity because the device has been associated with one patient death and about 80 serious medical complications, The Times has learned. The restrictions come 13 months after the treatment was initially approved by the U.S.
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