Long-term success seen in obesity treatment procedures

By Greg Hamilton • Published: February 21st, 2018
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

People who are struggling with obesity may consider taking steps such as gastric bypass surgery or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding to gain control of their condition. These procedures have been shown to work wonders for many, but some may question if the benefits are fleeting. A new study may help put some of those fears to rest.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center studied more than 2,000 people who had one of the procedures and found the overwhelming majority managed to keep the weight off for the seven years they were followed.

Not only that, the study found the majority of those patients who had diabetes at the time of their surgery achieved remission that was still holding at the seven-year follow-up. Plus, they saw lower levels of hypertension, cholesterol and triglycerides.

The study looked at 1,738 people from around the country who underwent gastric bypass surgery and 610 people who had the lap band procedure. Those who had the bypass surgery had an average weight loss of 84 pounds at seven years; for those with the lap band procedure, the average weight loss was 41 pounds. The results of the study were published in JAMA Surgery.

Among those who had diabetes at the time of their surgery, more than 70 percent of the bypass patients achieved remission and maintained it. About 30 percent of those who had the lap procedure had similar success. Gastric bypass patients also showed better progress in lowering their rates of hypertension, cholesterol and triglycerides.

The authors said that while their follow-up ended at seven years, the study provided extensive data in a variety of areas that researchers can address for years to come.