Two new studies tout the benefits of weight loss surgery

June 20, 2011

Two new studies tout the benefits of weight loss surgery
Two new studies tout the benefits of weight loss surgery

Two recent studies suggest that weight loss surgery may pose significant benefits for certain individuals. The first study, presented at Digestive Disease Week 2011 in Chicago, suggests that the risks of bariatric surgery are not significantly higher for older adults, and the second indicates that gastric bypass surgery can help improve diabetes quickly, according to WebMD.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis looked at data concerning more than 48,000 adults who had open or laparoscopic bariatric surgery between 2005 and 2009. They found that people over the age of 65 did not have any extra risks associated with the procedure compared to individuals in their 30s and 40s.

"If the patient is over age 65, and they're otherwise relatively healthy, I think this study gives surgeons an opportunity to tell the patients that they can undergo these operations with relatively similar outcomes compared to younger age populations," researcher Robert B. Dorman told the news source.

Researchers also found that the number of seniors electing to undergo weight loss surgery increased significantly between 2005 and 2009.

The second study came from Duke University Medical Center and Columbia University. Researchers there compared patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery to those who elected to lose weight by dieting. Surgery patients, on average, had lower levels of amino acids, meaning they were also at a lower risk of suffering from diabetes.

These findings were preliminary, as the sample group participating in the study was small. However, further research could help develop better treatments for diabetes.

"Surgery puts the diabetes into remission," Blandine Laferrere of Columbia University told WebMD. "Most of the research has focused on changes in gut hormones, but we have shown that a decline in specific circulating amino acids also occurs."

Individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight in relatively short periods, whether through diet or surgery, are sometimes left with sagging skin that may be in need of correction. Fortunately, post bariatric surgery can help combat this issue, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Face lifts, neck lifts and arm lifts are just a few of the available options for people who have recently lost weight. A visit to a board-certified plastic surgeon can help individuals decide which procedure best suits their needs. 

The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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