Four Studies Indicate Bariatric Surgery Provides Significant Long-Term Survival Advantage for Obese Patients

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A review published in SOARD, Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, summarizes the results of four studies that compared the mortality death rates of people who underwent bariatric surgery to a controlled community population.

A review published in SOARD, Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, summarizes the results of four studies that compared the mortality death rates of people who underwent bariatric surgery to a controlled community population. Research was conducted in Sweden, Australia, the United States and Italy, and it was presented at the 10th International Congress on Obesity in Sydney, Australia, in late 2006.

Each study considered between 1,000 and 8,000 morbidly obese patients who sought various forms of bariatric surgery, including laparoscopic gastric banding (LapBand®), sleeve gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and duodenal switch, in an effort to achieve an effective weight loss of more than 25%. Data released by the four groups showed that bariatric surgery reduced the mortality rates of patients anywhere from 31.6% (Sweden) to 62% (Italy).

The United States' collaborative research project conducted in Utah determined that of the 8,172 people who participated in the study, the gastric bypass patient had a 40% reduction in mortality and, more importantly, a significant decrease in death related to coronary artery disease, diabetes and cancer. Australia showed the most promising results to date, with a 73% average reduction in mortality rates due to LapBand® surgery.

Asked for his reaction to the results, Dr. Paul T. Cirangle, surgeon at the Hawaii Weight Loss Center and Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco, stated, "Hard evidence is what the medical community needs to demonstrate that bariatric surgery is far more effective than dietary and exercise programs in changing the lives of severely obese patients."

"The initial results of these four studies demonstrate that bariatric surgery is not only a powerful tool but a procedure that should be offered to appropriate patients sooner in an attempt to reduce the toll that obesity has on society," continued Cirangle. "The only way to save more lives is to educate ourselves, primary care providers and the public."

As a result of these initial studies, the International Congress on Obesity will meet again at the end of 2007 to discuss further research opportunities that will aim to make more specific discoveries about bariatric surgery and its ability to reduce the onset of obesity-related mortality.

About Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco and The Surgical Weight Loss Center of Hawaii:

Dr. Paul T. Cirangle of The Surgical Weight Loss Center of Hawaii (SWLC of HI) is also a co-founder of Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco (LapSF), a team of surgeons with a compassionate approach to patient care and a proven commitment to laparoscopic advancement for bariatric weight loss surgery procedures. Specializing in the four main bariatric procedures: roux-en-y gastric bypass, vertical gastrectomy, LapBand® and duodenal switch, LapSF and SWLC of HI has performed over 2,000 procedures. LapSF is also recognized by the American Society of Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) as a Center of Excellence.

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