Gastric Bypass Riskier Than The ''Experts'' First Believed

For the longest time, the so-called "medical experts" have claimed the potential benefits of gastric bypass procedures always outweighed the risks, meaning malnutrition, among many medical problems, and death. So, it's no big surprise a new study in today's Journal of the American Medical Association (free text link below) reports those risks are much greater than the "experts" and patients ever realized.

Based on about 16,000 Medicare patients, some 3 percent of women and 5 percent of men between ages 35-44 who had a gastric bypass procedure died within a year.

Folks, the news is far worse for senior patients, a growing profit center for these ridiculous procedures, as they age. The mortality rate associated with gastric bypass rises to 13 percent (men) and 6 percent (women) among the 65-74 age group.

And, if you're older than that, gastric bypass increases your mortality risks exponentially: Forty percent of the women and half of the men died from it.

Of course, the American Society for Bariatric Surgery claims these results are suspect, based on the assumption Medicare patients are generally sicker than the norm. That said, researchers defended their results as a real-world look at the bigger picture and risks involved versus reports from the best surgeons reporting their best results.

Here's hoping these disturbing numbers will slow down the recent explosion of gastric bypass procedures, an extreme solution to a serious medical lifestyle concern that can be treated far more safely without surgery or drugs.

Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 294, No. 15, October 19, 2005: 1903-1908 Free Full Text Article

USA Today October 19, 2005

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