Just how safe is bariatric (weight-loss) surgery?
Obese people usually undergo weight-loss surgery to prevent health problems related to increased body fat. A study published in the October 2009 issue of Archive of Surgery found that morbidly obese patients and those with chronic health problems were more likely to die after weight-loss surgery. This study followed 856 men and women for one year after surgery. A total of 54 people died, 1.3% within 30 days of surgery and 3.4% within a year. Thirty of the 54 deaths occurred in people who were super obese (morbidly obese). Super obesity was defined as a BMI of 40 or greater, normal BMI is < 25. BMI is a weight measurement based on height and weight. (To determine your BMI visit http://heart-strong.com/calculators.html)
The researchers suggest that the higher death rate in morbidly obese patients may be due to the increased risk of wound complications, blood clotting and increased procedural complexity related to excess abdominal fat. The benefits and risks or bariatric surgery must be closely evaluated, especially in people who are morbidly obese or who have congestive heart failure, COPD or complicated diabetes.
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