My 45 Days

So many people are undergoing weight loss surgery these days, it’s a wonder more books like this aren’t popping up.

We were glad to come across this one – a cookbook / guidebook for the post-bariatric set, by weight loss surgery patient and author Alan Stern.

Especially of interest to us: the chapter on how to improve your chances of getting your health insurance to cover the costs of weight loss surgery.

It’s a good read – worth seeking out.

Heart Health Improves with Weight Loss Surgery

A new study from the Mayo Clinic documents improved heart health among patients undergoing weight loss surgery – even for those patients who lose weight but remain obese.

Although this is based on a very limited study – only 13 patients – cardiologists at the Mayo Clinic see the study as an indication that any weight loss can be beneficial for obese patients, even if they do not reach their ideal BMI.

Who is getting weight loss surgery – and which surgery do they choose?

We all know that weight loss surgery is helping patients across the demographic spectrum, but a new study in the journal Pediatrics notes a sharp increase in the number of white, adolescent girls undergoing weight loss surgery.
Why more white girls? Not sure about that, but we are more interested in the increased use of Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding in this population segment.
The study also indicated patients whose procedures were covered by private health insurance were more likely to undergo the older Roux-en-Y procedure, while self-pay patients were more apt to choose the adjustable band.
What does this say about private health insurance and coverage of weight loss surgery?

Weight Loss Surgery and Improved Cardiovascular Health

The benefits of weight loss surgery continue to grow.

Researchers from Tufts University’s Human Nutrition Research Center have documented significant improvements in HDL-cholesterol profiles of patients who have undergone weight loss surgery.

Together with reductions in BMI, triglycerides and the ratio of LDL to HDL, this constitutes a major improvement in cardiovascular health and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Lose weight. get healthier.

WLSO and Gestational Diabetes

We already know that weight loss surgery can help patients overcome Type II Diabetes; now researchers are pointing to data that indicates the procedure may offer broader positive health effects for obese women who undergo weight loss surgery before becoming pregnant.

A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons finds that obese women who undergo weight loss surgery and later become pregnant have a much lower rate of gestational diabetes. This same group of patients also accounted for a lower rate of c-section deliveries.

While weight loss surgery (like all surgical procedures) has its own inherent risks, evidence of the efficacy and safety of weight loss surgery continues to mount.

Obese and Oblivious

More people are unable to accurately assess their own conditions of being overweight or obese, according to a new Harris Interactive poll. The poll shows that 30% of overweight people identify themselves as normal size and 70% of obese people identify themselves as overweight but not obese.

Why the confusion? One reason is that as more people become overweight or obese, the condition seems more “normal” than being at a truly healthy weight.

The epidemic of obesity is spreading, and weight-loss surgery is one of the most effective ways to fight this battle of the bulge.

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.

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