Another study in the same issue of the Archives of Surgery found that high-risk morbidly obese patients who lose 5 percent to 10 percent or more of their excess weight before gastric bypass surgery may have shorter hospital stays and lose weight more quickly after the surgery.
Researchers at Geisinger Health Care System in Danville, Pa., studied 884 patients, average age 45. Of those patients, 169 lost 5 percent to 10 percent of their excess weight before surgery, and 425 lost 10 percent or more of their excess weight beforehand.
Compared to patients who lost zero to 5 percent of excess weight before surgery, those who lost more than 5 percent were less likely to stay in hospital longer than four days, and those who lost more than 10 percent of excess weight were more than twice as likely to have lost 70 percent of their excess weight one year after their gastric bypass surgery.
Improvements in physical health associated with weight loss may help reduce surgical complications and shorten a patient's hospital stay, the study authors suggested. More research is needed to examine how pre-surgery weight loss may help with long-term weight loss after surgery.
One expert added a note of caution to the Pennsylvania results, however.
The findings "highlight that pre-operative weight loss leads to better short-term results," Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of obesity surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City, said in a statement issued Monday. "What can be my issue with this study? My fear and knowledge that these results will be used [by insurers] as an attempt to ration care for obesity and restrict access to weight loss surge
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