Study Reports Lasting Effects of Gastric Bypass

K. Mathews on 1 Oct 2012 at 9:00am

Despite the commentary about how gastric bypass is “cheating” and that some patients end up putting the weight back on, research supports a much different claim. Scientific American reports on an ongoing study of obese Americans, some of whom had gastric bypass surgery and some of whom did not. According to the data, even years down the road, gastric patients not only weigh less, but are significantly healthier.

While previous studies have shown that gastric bypass produced short-term health benefits (which is why insurance may cover the procedure), this new report confirms even longer lasting effects. In the latest research, six years after their surgeries, patients were still markedly healthier than obese people who did not opt for gastric.

At the six-year point, on average, gastric bypass patients weighed 28% less than they did prior to the surgery. Granted, most of these patients had put some weight back on since the surgery, but it is still a significant loss in body mass. More importantly, perhaps, the gastric patients also scored higher on “quality of life” tests than obese people who skipped the surgery.

In particular, gastric bypass had an impact on diabetes. Sixty two percent of patients who had type-2 diabetes prior to the surgery went into remission for the disease. That rate is twenty times higher than for the obese people who did not have the procedure. Those who had gastric bypass were 80% less likely to develop diabetes, as well. Furthermore, patients who had the surgery had lower rates of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Researchers intend to examine the same test subjects at the ten-year point to see if the healthful benefits hold up a whole decade after the surgery.


Are you surprised by these findings, or did you have no question about the longer term benefits of weight loss surgery? Let us know your position in the comments below!