Medical obesity is defined as a body mass index greater than or equal to 30. This index is calculated based upon a person’s height and weight. In my office this index is listed in the patient’s vital signs section of the physical exam.
Obesity is obviously a significant and ongoing medical problem in this country. Statistics show that it continues to increase and has achieved epidemic proportions. The surgery described in this article involves resecting part of the stomach as well as bypassing a section of the first portion of the small bowel. This creates a starve scenario for the patient. The study of 120 patients supports prior other studies showing that the surgical procedure is highly effective and much more so than traditional medical intervention for obesity. The procedure comes a cost of long-term nutritional deficiency risk and so ongoing medical followup is still required along with supplementation.
The study showed that the benefits of cardiovascular risk reduction is based upon weight loss and that the surgical procedure is more effective than the current medical approach which involves dietary counseling, caloric restriction, and exercise recommendations.
I have recommended this particular procedure for a handful of patients and each case it was significantly beneficial. Recent data suggests that even the elderly group (i.e. person over 65 of age) experience significant benefit with reasonable mortality and complication risk.
Bottom-line: Gastric bypass surgery is a viable option for significant weight loss translates to improve cardiovascular risk but at the cost of nutritional deficiency. Nutritional deficiencies can be overcome by supplementation. In today’s modern world lab testing can measure and monitor for significant nutritional deficiencies. Additionally, in my office the Biophotonic scanner can measure skin/tissue levels of antioxidants which also are a significant component of nutritional status. Weight loss no matter how it is accomplished in patients with medical obesity translates to lower cardiovascular risk and thus improved long-term survival from heart attack and stroke.