Patients With 32-35 BMI Benefit From Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery

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A recent study published in the medical journal Elsevier found that moderately obese patients, with a BMI between 32 and 35, can benefit greatly from laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. The study demonstrated total remission of co-morbidities like diabetes, lipid disorder and hypertension in 36 of the 37 patients surveyed post-surgery, leading the study to conclude that strict limits on bariatric surgery (BMI greater than or equal to 35) should be amended to include this group.

A recent study published in the pages of Elsevier, a medical journal covering surgery for obesity and related diseases, concluded that obese patients with a BMI between 32-35 kg/m2 can benefit from laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.

The study focused on 37 patients with a BMI between 32-35 kg/m2. These patients suffered from co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension and lipid disorder but did not meet the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) traditional criteria for obesity surgery. A 1991 NIH Consensus established strict limits for bariatric surgery so that a BMI greater than or equal to 35 kg/m2 is required for approval of operative treatment.

Because surgery has been the only method proved effective in maintaining long-term weight loss—based on a 1992 NIH Consensus on the subject—the study wanted to prove that surgical intervention is a viable option for patients with BMI < 35 kg/m2 who have uncontrolled and life-threatening co-morbidities, and have tried to lose weight with no success.

The 37 patients in the study group underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. The surgeries were performed by one surgeon, who also conducted all follow-up visits for up to 48 months after the procedure. Of the 37 patients, 36 had total remission of their co-morbidities (diabetes, hypertension, lipid disorder, GERD, and sleep apnea). The one patient with pre-operative diabetes, hypertension, and lipid disorder reported only mild hypertension post-operatively, and needed one hypertension drug instead of three pre-operatively.

Asked to comment on the results of the study, Dr. Gregg Jossart, of Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco, stated, “There is an increasing body of scientific evidence pointing to bariatric surgery as the safest, most effective option for people with mild to severe obesity. For overweight people who have attempted to lose weight without success, surgical intervention can resolve serious co-morbidities like hypertension and diabetes, and improve quality of life immeasurably.”

The study was carried about by a team of American and Brazilian surgeons, and it was published on February 18, 2006. The study concluded that obese patients with a BMI less than or equal to 35 kg/m2 and severe co-morbidities should be offered laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery as a treatment option.

About Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco:

Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco (LapSF) is a team of surgeons with a compassionate approach to patient care and a proven commitment to laparoscopic advancement for bariatric surgical procedures. Specializing in the four main bariatric procedures: Roux en Y gastric bypass, vertical gastrectomy, LapBand®, and duodenal switch, LapSF has performed over 1,200 procedures, and is recognized by the American Society of Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) as a Center of Excellence.

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Michelle Nicholl
LAPSF
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