Overcoming Obesity, UK Edition

It’s not just in the US that people are turning to weight loss surgery to overcome obesity and obesity-related disorders.

In the UK, the National Health Service reports a rapid increase in the number of weight loss surgeries being performed throughout the UK in the past five years.

The widespread success of various  weight-loss surgery techniques has led to increased awareness of these procedures.

For people with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more (or 35 or more if these suffer from a weight-related, secondary condition), weight loss surgery can be a real life-saver.

Study finds WLS helps some overcome diabetes

Research is continuing to confirm what many have long suspected: obese diabetics who undergo weight-loss surgery enjoy not only sustained weight loss, but often experience such improved health that they are able to manage blood sugar with out insulin and other drugs.

Medical understanding of the broad and powerful positive effects of weight loss surgery continue to grow.

Research, of course, is ongoing. We’ll keep you up to date right here.

Open Wide

In a novel, new approach to weight loss surgery, doctors at the University of California San Diego have performed the first sleeve gastrectomy in the US that combined laparoscopic and natural orifice techniques.

In a one-hour procedure, doctors removed about 80% of the stomach via the mouth rather than through the abdomen, making minimally invasive surgery less invasive than ever.

The technique is called a hybrid laparoscopic and natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery and goes by the acronym NOTES.

The same medical team used this approach to remove an appendix though the oral cavity in 2008, the first time such a procedure was performed in the US.

Practice Makes Perfect

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta is reporting about a study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicating the highest volume bariatric surgery centers have lower complication rates. That is, the more patients a weight loss surgery center treats, the less likely it is that those patients will experience post-operative complications.

When you’re considering weight loss surgery, choosing the doctor and the facility is an important decision. Ask your prospective doctor how long he’s been performing the procedure you’re considering, how many he performs each year, and how many patients experience complications after surgery. Ask the same questions about the facility you’re considering.

When it comes to your health, it’s important to make informed, educated decisions. Be sure to ask the questions – and get the answers you need – to make the right decision for you.