Monday, December 29, 2014

Body Contouring Surgery Can Benefit Post-Bariatric Surgery Patients

As the need for weight loss surgery increases, the desire for the removal of excess skin increases. A surgical procedure, called body contouring, is used to remove the excess skin. However many of the persons requiring the skin-removal surgery don't get the surgery. Though the surgery is considered to be cosmetic, the surgery can improve weight loss and the quality of life for someone who has excess skin after having lost a great deal of weight.
Researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI, concluded that patients who get body contouring surgery after weight loss surgery are better able to keep the weight off compared to surgical weight loss patients who do not have the contouring surgery. The researchers were happy that body contouring surgery increases the chances that a patient will maintain a healthy weight loss long-term. And the researchers felt that those who had the contouring surgery might experience a better quality of life.
The Henry Ford Hospital researchers looked at 94 patients who had received weight loss surgery at the hospital between 2003 and 2013. Forty-seven of the patients also had body contouring surgery. After 2.5 years, the patients who had the surgery experienced a BMI decrease of 18.24 compared to 12.45 for the surgical weight loss patients who did not have the body contouring surgery.
Because body contouring surgery may be beneficial to bariatric surgery patients, many of them want the body contouring surgery but don't get it. According to a study reported in a PubMed publication, 74% (186) of 252 gastric bypass patients wanted "body contouring surgery after gastric bypass surgery." But only 21% (53) of the patients had the surgery.
And another study concluded that only 12% of post-bariatric surgery patients received the contouring operation. Further, only 25% of post-bariatric surgery patients discussed body contouring surgery with their bariatric surgery physicians. In fact, many patients who need body contouring surgery don't even know about the surgery's existence or can't afford it.
There is a "huge disparity ... between the number of subjects who desire a body contouring surgery and those who" get the surgery. Therefore, weight loss service providers should make their patients aware of the benefits of the surgery for improved weight loss maintenance, and a possible improvement in quality of life.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Most Overweight or Obese Persons are at Risk of Metabolic Illnesses -- But Not All

Several years back,  CBSNews reported that a Centers for Disease (CDC) study indicated "that people who are modestly overweight actually have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight."  The study results confused many people because they seemed to imply that being overweight was not the serious problem Americans believed it to be. Then another study  highlighted in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that both obesity and overweight are serious problems. Still, in the final analysis, being overweight or obese may not be unhealthy for some people. A recent study concludes that there is a small set of obese persons who are metabolically healthy.
According to Martin Obin, a scientist with the USDA, 'These people, [are] called the metabolically healthy obese (MHO).' They 'are as fat as people who develop complications of obesity, yet they are protected from these complications...' Obin indicates that knowing how these MHO individuals are protected from metabolic diseases could lead to a better understanding of how obesity influences the diseases.
Obin believes that fat cells function differently in MHO persons compared to those obese individuals who become metabolically unhealthy. And this difference causes more inflammation in the metabolically unhealthy individuals than in the metabolically healthy.
But still, for most people, being overweight or obese raises the risks of comorbidities, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, sleep apnea, and cancer. These comorbidities might be associated with the increased inflammation related to obesity. As one researcher concluded, "While normal inflammation is an important part of our body’s healing response, runaway inflammation can contribute to chronic and life-threatening diseases."
It appears that some obese persons may have a relatively healthy level of inflammation. Therefore, understanding how metabolically obese healthy individuals might maintain this relatively healthy level of inflammation could enable researchers to develop treatments that can be used to make obese unhealthy individuals more healthy. Of course, improving the metabolic health of an obese individual does not lessen the impact of the extra weight on the obese persons skeleton. But developing an effective treatment for improving metabolic health could buy time for the obese individual to lose the weight.
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