Daniel Farkas, M.D., F.A.C.S.

General Surgery
Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery
Bariatric Surgery

1650 Selwyn Ave, #4E Bronx, NY 10457


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The beneficial effects of bariatric surgery have become increasingly accepted in the medical community, as the scientific evidence mounts. As of late, there has been a greater focus on the effects of surgery on medical comorbidities.

The findings shown in this table were demonstrated again in a landmark meta-analysis published in JAMA by Buchwald et al, in 2004. Looking at a combined total of over 22,000 patients, the tremendous impact of bariatric surgery was demonstrated for diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. You can see the full text of the article here (PDF).

Incidentally, that study also looked at 30 day mortality rates. They found that the mortality rate for restrictive procedures was 0.1%, and for gastric bypasses 0.5%. (For biliopancreatic diversion, which is not part of this practice, the rate was 1.1%.)

What's important to remember is that there is significant morbidity and mortality for morbidly obese patients, even without surgery. This was looked at in a study by Christou et al, published in the Annals of Surgery in 2004. They looked at 1,035 bariatric surgery patients, and 5,746 control patients. They followed both cohorts for 5 years. Over that time they found that the bariatric surgery patients had significantly fewer health problems, and significantly lower mortality. The difference was quite extreme, with a mortality rate of 0.68% for the surgery cohort, as compared with 6.17% for the control cohort! You can see the full text of the article here (PDF).

So although there is a feeling that bariatric surgery is "dangerous", it's clear that continuing to live at a morbidly obese weight is far more dangerous. This is the basic reason why bariatric surgery is the recommended treatment for morbidly obese patients.




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