It has been shown that shedding excess body weight can significantly improve health and even reduce or resolve many health conditions associated with obesity. At South Texas Surgeons, we offer affordable and effective surgical weight loss options, such as the Lap Band and Realize Band, to facilitate our patients in living healthier lives. Recently, a long-term Swedish study demonstrated another health benefit of bariatric surgery; the study found that obese people who had weight loss surgery were less likely to later suffer a heart attack or stroke–or to die from one–compared to obese people who were treated without surgery. The study evaluated about 4000 obese people treated at hundreds of heath care facilities in Sweden from 1987–2001. During this time-frame, half of the people received bariatric surgery, while the other half was treated with routine care, which included guidance on making healthy lifestyle changes. The researchers followed the patients for an average of 10 years. When they accounted for the initial health differences between people who did and did not get surgery, they found that in the years following surgery, patients were about 30 percent less likely to have a first-time heart attack or stroke than non-surgery patients, and half as likely to die from one. Additionally, those who received surgery lost an average of 16 percent of their starting weight over the 15 years following the procedure, while the control group didn’t consistently lose or gain weight over time.
The study did not find a significant relationship between cardiovascular events and the degree of weight change in the surgery or control group. One theory is that bariatric surgery has health benefits that are independent of the amount of weight lost, such as improvements in diabetes, which could decrease heart risks. These findings highlight that there are several benefits of weight loss surgery, some of which are independent of the degree of the surgically induced weight loss.
At South Texas Surgeons, we provide a complete and multidisciplinary approach to the surgical care of our patients. You can visit our website to learn more about our program or sign up to attend one of our free seminars.