Health Headlines: Benefits of bariatric surgery

Health Headlines: Benefits of bariatric surgery
Health Headlines: Benefits of bariatric surgery
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 6:54 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - With a staggering 41% of the US population considered to be obese it’s an unfortunate fact that those in that category are at an increased risk for more than 60 chronic diseases. But now, new research shows that weight loss surgery may also decrease an individual’s risk of diabetes, stroke, and cancer.

Emily Peterson had tried basically every diet available, underwent a failed lap band surgery, and then, in 2021, had bariatric surgery.

She says, “All I wanted from the time that I was a little girl, I mean probably as young as 5, 6, 7 years old, I just so wanted to be skinny. I have just a lifetime of little horror stories.”

Dr. Philip Omotosho is a gastrointestinal surgeon at Rush University Medical Center and explained that having the surgery isn’t just about losing weight, “There’s a whole list of things that bariatric surgery makes better.”

As part of a research team that studied almost 29,000 morbidly obese patients, Dr. Omotosho says they found that gastric bypass surgery significantly reduced the risk of all cancers, including uterine, colorectal, and lung cancer. The chances for some of them were even reduced by more than 50%.

“The insulin resistance improves after bariatric surgery and we know that insulin resistance and growth factors have been actually implicated in some of these cancer pathways.”

Another study done by Dr. Omotosho found that bariatric surgery lowered the risk of ischemic stroke. In the study, 52% of the patients with the surgery had complete remission of their type two diabetes while those that didn’t have the surgery did not experience a remission.

Before her bypass, Emily was told she was prediabetic. But just one year later, she’s changed that trajectory and lost 105 pounds.

She says, “I’m smaller now than I was in junior high school. So, this is all completely uncharted territory. I’ve never been this size in my life, let alone as an adult.”

People who are obese tend to pay almost $1,500 more out of pocket for healthcare than those who are not.

But remember, bariatric surgery, like any surgery, carries its own risks that need to be discussed with your doctor before making a decision.