Study Finds Bariatric Surgery Lowers Cardiac Risk Factors

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A new study released by the Mayo clinic reveals the positive impact of Bariatric surgery. Along with weight loss benefits from the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery, they have also discovered important cardiac benefits for patients.

In a first-of-its-kind study of bariatric surgery, the Mayo Clinic studied patients who underwent Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery. They discovered the procedure reaps significant cardiac benefits compared to patients enrolled in traditional weight-reduction programs.

The study covered 197 patients who underwent Roux-en-Y surgery, the most common weight-loss procedure in the United States, between 1990 and 2003. The study compared this group to a control group of 163 people enrolled in a traditional weight-reduction program for cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, diabetes indicators, cholesterol levels and Body Mass Index (BMI).

When data from the two groups was compared, those who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery had a more significant improvement in all cardiac risk parameters, such as body weight, lipid levels, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and fasting glucose levels, despite a reduction in medications for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Lead author of the study, John Batsis, M.D., said, “We believed the surgical patients would have a modest reduced risk, but instead we discovered there are significant and long-lasting heart benefits for this group.” The researchers estimated the 10-year risk for death or cardiovascular events, such as a heart attack, decreased from 37% to 18% in the surgical group, but it remained the same, 30%, for the control group.

When asked for a reaction to the study, Dr. Gregg Jossart, a surgeon at Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco, stated, “This confirms that obesity is a risk factor for heart disease and it can be dramatically reduced through weight loss surgery. Bariatric surgery procedures like the Gastric bypass, LapBand, Duodenal Switch and Vertical Gastrectomy all offer the potential to improve or cure obesity associated congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and associated cardiac diseases. It’s not just a cosmetic procedure for these cardiac patients, it can actually be a life saving procedure.”

Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D., a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic and senior author of this project, believes this study has major public health implications because it approaches two epidemics: obesity and heart disease. “This study proves that major weight loss is followed by an impressive reduction in risk factors for heart disease and a significant reduction in the use of medications for diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure.”

About Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco:

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Laparoscopic Associates is the only group in the Western United States to perform all weight-loss surgeries laparoscopically. They specialize in Lap Band Surgery, Vertical Gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y Surgery, and the Duodenal Switch.

More information about weight-loss surgery can be found on LAPSF’s Website, http://www.lapsf.com, or by contacting Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco, 2100 Webster Street, Suite 518, San Francisco, CA 94115, phone: 415-561-1310, fax: 415-561-1731.

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