Weight Loss Surgery Safe for Seniors

Feb. 22, 2005 — Gastric bypass surgery isn’t just for the young, says a ponder in February’s Files of Surgery.

The weight loss procedure has taken off in ubiquity. Gastric bypass was performed 10 times as regularly in 2001 as in 1987.

Within the procedure, specialists bypass the stomach by closing off a section of the stomach, clearing out a small pouch that obliges a number of ounces of food. That drastically diminishes the amount of nourishment that people can eat. The pouch is connected to part of the small digestive system so that food bypasses the rest of the stomach to reduce assimilation of calories and nutrients.

Obesity Boom Drives Request

Interest in gastric bypass has grown along with America’s waistline. Nearly 20% of the U.S. populace was obese in 2001, compared to 12% 10 years prior, say James Swain, MD, and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Sensational weight loss stories from celebrities and other obese people who’ve undergone the surgery have too fueled interest. Less intrusive procedures have too become accessible that maintain a strategic distance from the large incision ordinarily made amid the bypass procedure and cut down on in-hospital recovery time.

But some features have noted the threats that can occur. Final October, two ponders appeared that the short-term threats may be higher than previously thought, although the long-term benefits of shedding additional pounds could make the surgery beneficial.

Does Age Make a Distinction in Gastric Bypass Surgery?

The dangers apply to everyone. Weight loss surgery isn’t done casually; it’s a last resort for overweight or corpulent individuals who have attempted other strategies and have been unsuccessful. But age alone doesn’t run the show out the method, say James Swain, MD, and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Given that more seasoned patients are sound sufficient to have the surgery, “patients of advanced age can safely undergo [gastric bypass],” write the analysts.

That goes against a few providers’ policies, they say. Since so many individuals are stout and Americans are living longer than ever before, Swain’s group took a fresh look at gastric bypass surgery and age.

Gauging Health Before Surgery

Ponder members were 110 people more youthful than 60 a long time ancient and 20 people who were more seasoned than 60 a long time old. All were dismally obese and had other restorative conditions related to corpulence.

The younger patients were about 45 years ancient on average. The older patients had an average age of 65.

Before surgery, both bunches weighed a little over 300 pounds (305 pounds for the more seasoned group and 301 pounds for the more youthful gather). The younger group’s body mass file (BMI) was higher (48, compared with 42 for the older gather).

Which Age Gather Fared Way better?

Judging by the scale, the younger patients did a bit superior. They lost more weight and had a more prominent drop in BMI.

The more youthful patients lost about 97 pounds, bringing down their BMI by 15 focuses. The older patients shed about 86 pounds and dropped almost 13 BMI focuses.

The younger patients also emptied an average of 2.3 obesity-related medical problems such as rest apnea. Whereas the older patients also progressed their health, they dropped fair under two health problems after the weight misfortune surgery.

But the more seasoned patients fared way better in another range. After the surgery, they were able to decrease the number of drugs they regularly took. At the final follow-up, they took an average of 2.7 drugs, down from nearly five. The younger patients moreover cut back to barely one medicine per person after surgery. That’s a significant decrease, but it’s less than what their seniors accomplished.

Both groups had comparative rates of complications and remained in the healing center for roughly the same number of days (approximately three days for the more seasoned patients and 2.5 days for the more youthful ones).

“Patients older than 60 years can be considered great candidates for obesity surgery,” say the analysts. They plan longer follow-up to track survival and health fetched savings.

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