Friday, December 31, 2010

Bariatric Surgery, A Possible Treatment for Obese Heart Failure Patients

To be considered for bariatric or weight-loss surgery today, using the National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines, a person must have a BMI greater than 40 or a BMI greater than 35, with weight related comorbidities. The comorbidities include type II diabetes and sleep apnea and hypertension.

A Mayo Clinic study "found that morbidly obese heart failure patients who undergo bariatric surgery gain long lasting and meaningful improvements in diabetes symptoms and quality of life". The researchers also state that bariatric surgery could become part of the treatment for obese patients who experience heart failure if there are no contraindications for the surgery. The researchers point out, however, that most cardiologists don't "refer for obese patients with heart failure for bariatric surgery."

Of course, more study needs to be done to support enlarging the treatment options for obese heart failure patients. The study looked at only thirteen patients. But since weight loss has been proven to have positive effects on type II diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol, it is quite possible that weight loss and weight management would benefit heart failure patients who are obese. And indeed bariatric surgery would play a significant role here.

We should also point out that in addition to bariatric surgery, nonsurgical weight loss methods deserve some attention. If cardiologists partnered with physicians who are expert in nonsurgical weight-loss treatments, obese patients who have experienced heart failure, but don't qualify for bariatric surgery for some reason, could receive medical weight-loss treatment that could improve their
diabetes symptoms and quality of life.

Perhaps bariatric surgeons and physicians who specialize in nonsurgical medical weight loss (bariatricians) should contact cardiologists, and try to enter into a relationship with them. This relationship would benefit the patient and the cardiologist. This relationship could also benefit the bariatrician by increasing his patient base.

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Anonymous bariatric gastric bypass surgery said...

I am 5'7'' and weighed 318 at my highest point. At the time i decided to have surgery i weighed 298. I am slowing working down the scale and haven't felt this good since my mid 20's. I'm 43 right now and within 10 pounds of my pre-pregancy weight of 195.

January 17, 2011 at 4:30 AM  

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