Shocking Gastric Bypass Complication

Of course this rare outcome would be a risk of any operation and isn’t specific to gastric bypass:

Woman, 22, Suspected to Have One-in-a-Million Disease After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Doctors suspect a 22-year-old Virginia woman contracted the human variant of mad cow disease shortly after she had gastric bypass surgery, WAVY-TV reports.

“Tainted medical instruments and certain medical procedures” have been blamed. The patient died on April 10th three months after the operation.



Bariatric Surgery has Nothing on this Hack

If you thought stomach stapling was too extreme for the treatment of obesity, then this will really yank your chain.

Doctors in Toronto have experimented on a morbidly obese man by implanting electrodes into his brain to stimulate appetite suppression. One has to assume that you are quite desperate to hack your brain for results.

The interesting outcome, however, was that the doctors discovered that the electrical current to the hypothalamus resulted in “turning up the brain volume” such that memory and ability to learn was greatly enhanced. There was no mention of whether the patient’s appetite was affected. Research clearly took a happy turn and they didn’t look back.

New brain anyone?


Bariatric Surgery And Longevity

The Washington Post reports that obese people are significantly less likely to die prematurely if they undergo stomach surgery to lose weight, according to two large new studies that offer the first convincing evidence that the health gains of losing weight translate into living longer. Full Article

The article doesn not provide full mortality statistics, but  from my reading, it implies that out of 7,725 obese people, without surgery, roughly 528 would die after 10 years but with it only 317 would die. So for every 35 people doing the procedure, 1 life would be saved. (Pet Peeve: Why don’t these studies report the numbers needed to treat (NNT) as a standard statistic?)

What is more interesting is earlier news that the surgery could arrest type 2 diabetes within days, even before any significant weight loss occured. This implies there’s a bit more going on here than just making the stomach smaller.