Weight-loss surgeries for obesity are very popular, often producing dramatic fat loss and reducing type-2 diabetes, according a new study. The problem is that patients regain weight and health problems return in the long run.
Diet and exercise are essential for any long term weight loss from my experience but I understand this is very difficult for anyone who is already obese.
A new study published in JAMA Surgery reviewed patients’ files between one and five years who underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG). It discovered that patients who had that kind of surgery encountered significant weight gain and a return of type 2 diabetes years later.
A sleeve gastrectomy is basically the removal of part of the stomach and creating a long, slim sleeve, or pouch, from the remaining section of the stomach, according to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK). When the size of the stomach is reduced it limits the amount of food you can consume. Also, it suppresses appetite, lowers blood sugar and changes gut hormones.
“Weight-loss surgery is not a panacea for weight loss over the long run,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrei Keidar, of the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, Israel.
Keidar says the main reason for weight regain is that the stomach dilates, which means you can eat more. The appetite returns so individuals can consume more and they desire to eat more (JAMA Surg.).
Data was collected on nearly 450 patients between April 2006 and February 2013. However, only 39 patients had a full follow-up by the fifth year after surgery. It seems patients either were ashamed or just became discouraged and did not want to report which could have ended in a biased study.
Patients lost 77 percent of their excess weight in the first year of surgery. Shockingly, they regained weight by the fifth year, resulting in only a 56 percent fat loss. Also, 51 percent of people eliminated type 2 diabetes in the first year. In the fifth year, only 20 percent were still clear of the disease, said researchers (JAMA Surg.).
I agree with Keidar that weight loss surgery is a “behavioral surgery”. If you do not switch up your lifestyle you will regain weight.
Even though patients may regain weight and develop diabetes again, I still believe weight-loss surgery is the best option for obese patients.
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Source: Golomb I, Ben David M, Glass A, Kolitz T, Keidar A. “Long-term Metabolic Effects of Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy” JAMA Surg. Published online August 05, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.2202.