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November 26, 1985 | SHEARLEAN DUKE
Three weeks ago, 34-year-old Helen Finger stepped on the bathroom scale, watching as the digital readout flashed its frightening message: 268 pounds. For her height--5 feet, 6 inches--that put her about 140 pounds over her ideal weight. And those extra pounds were threatening Finger's life, causing problems ranging from hypertension to arthritis.
Twenty-nine years ago, a doctor at a Denver mental hospital sat a sickly, slightly retarded boy named Tim Baley down at a piano and watched him run his fingers across the ledges and valleys of the keyboard. The puzzled doctor began jotting down notes. Baley had undergone hundreds of tests, but medical minds were still having a hard time coming up with a diagnosis for the boy's developmental problems and poor health. The piano test only deepened the mystery.
August 6, 2010
Scientists are finding that gastric bypass surgery may change more than a person's weight -- hormones secreted in the gut could affect some eating habits. A new study finds that the surgery may tamp down the desire to eat when not hungry. The study, published in the Aug. 1 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , focused on hedonic hunger, or the urge to eat highly palatable foods when not hungry. Among the study participants were 123 obese patients, 136 people who had gastric bypass surgery and a control group made up of 110 people who were not obese.
May 9, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Gastric bypass surgery for weight loss doubles the risk of developing alcoholism compared with Lap-Band surgery, Swedish researchers reported Monday. Researchers already knew that bypass surgery allows the body to absorb alcohol quicker, but the new findings, reported at the Digestive Diseases Week meeting in Chicago, are the first to suggest an increased risk of problems associated with the effect. Dr. Magdalena Plecka Ostlund of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and her colleagues examined medical records for 12,277 patients who underwent bariatric surgery in Sweden between 1980 and 2006.
May 9, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Gastric bypass surgery has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults, but it may be even more effective at reducing risk in teens, researchers said Monday. Although the weight loss in both groups was about the same, the surgery, formally known as Roux-en-Y surgery, gave teens a greater improvement in a variety of biochemical markers that are normally thought to be predictive of heart problems, researchers from the Stanford College of Medicine reported at a Digestive Diseases Week meeting in Chicago.
February 22, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
Less than a week after the Food and Drug Administration approved the marketing of Lap-Band weight-loss surgery to 11 million new patients, a pair of studies has found that a different, older procedure is more effective and no riskier than either the Lap-Band or another less-drastic surgery, sleeve gastrectomy. In the first head-to-head comparison of weight-loss surgeries widely used in the United States, UC San Francisco researchers found that those who had their stomach capacity reduced by a Roux-en-Y bypass, which reduces the stomach's capacity and bypasses a part of the intestine, lost more weight, required less diabetes medication and were less likely to need further surgery than those who received the Lap-Band.
February 26, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
With record U.S. obesity rates and newly expanded Food and Drug Administration eligibility criteria for Lap-Band surgery, more and more Americans may be mulling the possibility of going beyond diet and exercise to tackle their weight and the medical problems that come with it. Those deciding on the surgical route face the often-baffling choice of which procedure is for them. Although there are some broad guidelines, experts say, the final choice comes down to what both patient and doctor are comfortable with.
November 11, 1986 | AMY MEDNICK, Mednick, a USC journalism student, is a Times intern. and
After experimenting unsuccessfully with various diets, Dr. Dennis Riff, an Orange County gastroenterologist, had a plastic balloon put in his stomach to control his appetite. He was 75 pounds overweight. Eight months later, he said, he had lost 65 pounds. In his specialty, Riff treats disorders of the digestive system.
November 25, 2009 | By Rong-Gong Lin II
Take this as a cautionary tale. The man was covered in sweat, clutching his chest, when he entered an emergency room on Thanksgiving some years back. His words are fixed in the memory of Dr. Mark Morocco, associate residency director of emergency medicine at UCLA. "I just ate a lot of meatballs. . . . Oh, my God, here it comes!" he said, then vomited into a sink in the triage area. The diagnosis? More than a dozen of his mother's meatballs, all crammed into his stomach.
March 11, 2006 | Gary Klein, Times Staff Writer
Reggie White's death provided the wake-up call, Kirby Puckett's the confirmation. Former USC running back Anthony Davis said last month that because of sleep- and weight-related health problems similar to those of White, a pro football Hall of Famer who died in 2004 at 43, he decided last year to undergo gastric bypass surgery. The procedure is scheduled for today at a hospital in La Jolla and will be shown live on the Internet.
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