Patients who lose between five and ten per cent of their excess body weight prior to obesity surgery
tend to spend less time in hospital after the procedure, researchers have said.
The team of researchers at Geisinger Health System, Pennsylvania, also found that high-risk morbidly obese patients who achieve pre-surgical weight loss tend to experience faster weight loss after their operation.
Their study involved 884 patients with an average age of 45 who underwent gastric bypass surgery between 2002 and 2006.
Gastric bypass involves the creation of a small stomach pouch and construction of bypasses of the duodenum and small intestine to decrease the body's ability to absorb calories and nutrients from food.
Those who lost more than five per cent of excess body weight prior to the operation were less likely to stay in hospital longer than four days, while those who lost more than ten per cent were more than twice as likely to have lost 70 per cent of their excess weight a year later.
Writing in the journal Archives of Surgery, the study authors noted that older and higher-risk patients with medical problems are opting for obesity surgery, particularly when the disease burden of their obesity-related conditions is affecting their quality of life.