Patients who have undergone obesity surgery may benefit from growth hormone treatment for the next six months, scientists have found.
Researchers at University Federico II in Naples, Italy, found that women who took growth hormones after being fitted with a gastric band lost less lean body mass and skeletal muscle mass.
While obesity surgery has been shown to be effective for aiding weight loss in obese patients, one of the possible serious complications is the loss of necessary lean body mass and skeletal muscle.
Dr Silvia Savastano, lead author of the study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, commented: "Growth hormone benefits body composition throughout life by increasing muscle mass and reducing fat mass.
"The results of our study show that the use of short-term treatment with growth hormone during a standardised programme of low-calorie diet and physical exercise is effective in reducing the loss of muscle mass and increasing the loss of fat mass after bariatric (obesity) surgery."
Other forms of obesity surgery include gastric bypass surgery and the fitting of a gastric balloon.