Saturday, March 24, 2012

Body Contouring Might Be a Good Add-On Service to Offer after Bariatric Surgery

As the desire for weight loss or bariatric surgery increases, the desire for surgery to remove the excess skin increases. But many of the people who need the surgery, called body contouring surgery, don't get the surgery. Although the surgery is viewed as cosmetic, the surgery can improve the quality of life for someone who has lost a great deal of weight. It is for this reason we believe that adding body contouring as a service would be a good step for many bariatric service providers.
Many people who have had weight loss surgery want body contouring surgery. According to a report done at a Vienna hospital, out of 252 gastric bypass patients, 74% desired "body contouring surgery after gastric bypass surgery." But only "[f]ifty-three patients (21%)" had the surgery. "
And in a study done in the U.S., it was found that only 12% of post-bariatric surgery patients received body contouring surgery. Further, only 25% of the post-bariatric surgery patients talked with their bariatric surgery physicians about body contouring surgery. Indeed, many people who need body contouring surgery don't know about the surgery or can't afford it.
The British are trying to address the issue. They did a study where they concluded that "patients undergoing bariatric surgery should have information on, or access to plastic surgery where appropriate, but this" is not happening. The study suggested that "further studies focusing on the outcome of body contouring after massive weight loss could support ... [body contouring surgery] becoming [an] integral part of the bariatric surgery pathway."
Because of the "huge disparity ... between the number of subjects who desire a body contouring surgery and those who" get the surgery, we believe that offering the plastic surgery service should be a strategic objective for many bariatric centers -- especially bariatric surgical centers. Further, business planners for bariatric service providers should investigate body contouring surgery to determine if the surgery is a reasonable service option. This service offering could give a bariatric service provider a competitive advantage.
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Friday, March 9, 2012

Leptin Resistance May Be Linked to Cancer

Leptin, a protein produced and secreted by fat cells in our body, is known to be important in energy regulation. In fact, leptin plays a role in appetite suppression. But injecting an obese person with leptin does not cause weight loss. Generally, an obese person's body makes enough leptin, but the body does not always appropriately manage the leptin. The person's body may be experiencing something called leptin resistance. And leptin resistance may create another problem: cancer.
When leptin was first discovered in 1994, it was hoped that leptin could be used to treat obesity. It was theorized that people were obese because of a deficit in leptin in the body. Therefore, providing a person with additional leptin would cause a person to stop eating, thus causing weight loss. However, as research has shown, most obese people probably have enough leptin. Their bodies just don't use the leptin properly. People who are obese likely suffer from leptin resistance, a condition similar to insulin resistance, where the body is unable to properly use the available leptin.
And according to scientists in Boston, Massachusetts, leptin that stays in the body too long can negatively affect the immune system, creating a higher risk of cancer. Specifically, the scientists' report indicates that leptin in the body causes an impairment of the natural killer (NK) cell functions. The cells target and attack certain types of cancers.
So getting an obese person's body to appropriately manage leptin will address obesity and cancer. And there may be ways to improve the obese person's body's ability to manage leptin. Working with fat mice, a team at Harvard used two drugs to overcome leptin resistance in the mice.
The two drugs are "4-phenyl butyric acid or PBA, which treats cystic fibrosis, and tauroursodeoxycholic acid or TUDCA, which treats a liver disease." And a past study showed that endurance training might be an effective treatment for leptin resistance. Additional research, of course, is needed to determine what might combat leptin resistance.
At any rate, leptin resistance is an important issue in weight control and apparently in cancer. So coming up with effective treatments will benefit those who need to lose weight, and those obese individuals who could get cancer. Bariatric service providers should keep abreast of research in this area so that they can offer the best leptin resistance treatment.
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