Weight Loss Before Bariatric Surgery Leads to Shorter Hospital Stay and Faster Weight Loss

A team of researchers led by Christopher D. Still, D.O. of the Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania studied patients who received gastric bypass surgery from 2002 to 2006. The requirement was for the subjects to take part in a standardized program before the operation that includes psychological, medical, nutritional, educational and surgical interventions.

These subjects were also encouraged to achieve a weight loss of 10% before surgery. The study included 884 patients with an average age of 45. Here are the results of the weight loss: 169 or 19% lost 5%-10% of extra body weight before the surgery and 425 or 48% lost 10% or more of their extra weight before the operation.

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The team of researchers found that those who lost over 5% showed a tendency of not staying in hospital for more than four days. Those who lost over 10% doubled their chance of a weight loss of 70% a year later. This result is when this group was compared with those who either didn't show any weight loss or just losing only up to 5% of their excess weight prior to the operation.

The researchers believe that the physiological improvement associated to weight loss helped decrease surgical complications and made the patients' hospital stay shorter. They added that there had been many reports that substantiate the positive effects of even limited weight loss on medical conditions like diabetes. This should really make us want to lose weight.

Just what is bariatric surgery? This refers to the procedures performed in order to correct obesity. How do they do this? They modify the gastrointestinal tract to reduce food consumption. This is also known as weight loss surgery and should be differentiated from removal of body fat through surgery like abdominoplasty or liposuction.

Bariatric surgery may be an option for those who cannot reduce body weight through lifestyle changes of eating right and getting physically active. There are different options through surgery all with their own advantages and disadvantages. Bariatric surgery has been successful in getting people to a healthy body weight. Study the pros and cons before acting on this option as just like any other surgeries, there are risks and side effects.

For one thing, this weight loss surgery changes the digestive system in order to limit the food intake. It helps with weight loss and this of course lowers the risk to develop conditions that are linked to obesity. Gastric bypass is the bariatric surgery more surgeons prefer. They have found less complications for this type and so they believe it safer.

How is gastric bypass surgery done? The surgeon makes a pouch the size of a walnut at the top of the stomach and adds a bypass around a part of the stomach and small intestine. He then staples the stomach across the top and cuts the small intestine and sews part of it to the pouch.

This redirects the food. Instead of having it pass through the stomach, it bypasses it and the first section of the small intestine. It goes directly to the second section of the small intestine thus limiting the absorption of calories. Since the stomach is reduced to the size of a walnut, one will need to eat very small meals during the day. The result naturally is weight loss.

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