Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Research has shown that mitochondrial disorders from adipose tissue leading to T2DM have been improved with RYGB but those choosing a less aggressive weight loss surgery will not get the same benefit. Jahansouz et al. reported lack of improvement in glycemic control and mitochondrial function following AGB [20].

But bariatric surgery remains more effective for lasting weight loss than dieting and exercise. The first year after surgery can be a “honeymoon” with new food choices, new habits, and improved self-esteem but many patients soon start regaining weight. Dr. John Morton, past president of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and head of bariatric surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, California, indicates that obese patients who regain some weight can still see health benefits from the surgery [21].

Peter T. Hallowell, MD, of the University of Virginia, Department of Surgery, Charlottesville, Virginia, and colleagues studied bariatric surgery in 401 patients and reported a clear survival advantage in morbidly obese patients who pursued gastric bypass surgery over those not undergoing the procedure [22].

Benefits of bariatric surgery can also be considered for adolescents who do not lose weight despite increased physical activity and better food choices. Individuals at least 16 years old and those with a BMI >40 may be considered for surgical intervention to offset further obesity challenges. Since weight loss surgery curbs the sweet tooth by acting on the brain’s reward system, younger obese patients may find the surgery more effective than traditional programs [23].

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