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Endoscopy Identified as Safe and Effective Method in Treating Common Complication of Gastric Bypass Surgery
Date:8/19/2007

OAK BROOK, Ill., Aug. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New research from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. indicates that endoscopic balloon dilation is a safe and effective method in treating gastrojejunal anastomotic strictures (a narrowing of the opening made between the surgically created gastric pouch and the small intestine), a relatively frequent postoperative complication of gastric bypass surgery. The study, published in the August issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the monthly peer- reviewed scientific journal of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, reports that dilation (stretching of the anastomosis or opening) to at least 15 mm is safe, decreases the need for further endoscopic dilation and improves the patient's symptoms. It did not adversely affect weight loss at one year compared to those without strictures or dilation.

Obesity is a major health problem in the United States and other westernized countries. Large prospective studies have demonstrated increased mortality for moderately and severely obese individuals. According to guidelines from the American College of Physicians, surgery should be considered as a treatment option for morbidly obese individuals who instituted, but failed an exercise and diet program (with or without drug therapy). A 2005 study in the Archives of Surgery found that weight loss surgeries in the U.S. rose from 12,775 in 1998 to 70, 256 in 2002, an increase of 450 percent. According to the American Society for Bariatric Surgery, in 2006, an estimated 177,600 people with morbid obesity had bariatric surgery in the U.S.

Bariatric surgery, or weight loss surgery, limits the amount of food the stomach can hold by surgically reducing the stomach's capacity to a few ounces. Some surgeries also alter the digestion process, curbing the amount of calories and nutrients absorbed.

"This study shows that the majority of these strictures can be managed safely and effe
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SOURCE American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.

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