It’s not just about losing weight and looking better, new research has shown just how dramatically bariatric surgery, such as the gastric band and bypass, can prolong patients’ lives.
In recent clinical trials, Italian researchers found that bariatric surgery reduced a patient’s odds of dying by nearly half over an average study period of seven to eight years. Using different techniques, both the band and bypass procedure involve the creation of a smaller stomach capacity, so that overweight and obese patients feel full faster and for longer, so eat less and therefore lose weight.
Dr Antonio Pontiroli and his colleague Alberto Morabito, from of the University of Milan, examined eight previous trials with a total of more than 44,000 obese men and women of which about 14,000 had gastric bands or bypass procedures. The rest was a “control group”.
Across the studies, the results were remarkable. A death rate of 2.8 % was recorded in bariatric surgery patients compared to 9.7 % in the control group who did not have surgery. This equates to 45% lower odds of dying with bariatric surgery.
David Ross, CEO of the UK’s leading gastric band provider The Hospital Group, said “It is well-known that obesity carries with it a number of associated problems, such as diabetes, sleep apnoea or hypertension. Many of our patients report that these simply disappear as the weight drops off after surgery.
However, the risks of more serious conditions such as heart disease are really life-threatening and we do have patients that have literally been given an ultimatum by their Doctors to lose weight.
"At The Hospital Group, we offer all forms of bariatric surgery including the gastric bypass and sleeve, gastric band and the non-surgical gastric balloon. Our consultants ensure that, as well as having an absolute need for a gastric procedure, the patient understands that weight loss surgery isn’t a miracle cure and they would need to work with the band, bypass or balloon to achieve the healthier lifestyle they desire.
"However, our patients over-whelmingly report that the health benefits of losing weight are even more dramatic than they could have expected. They take less medication, fewer days off sick and are able to be a lot more active in their lives.
"Separate studies have shown that bariatric surgery produces a sustained reduction in body weight which for the severely obese is very difficult to achieve with other weight-loss programmes and ensures an enduring health benefit.“