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Weight Loss Prior to Gastric Bypass Improves Results

Five to ten percent losses are associated with better outcomes after gastric bypass operations

TUESDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) --Losing 5 percent to 10 percent of excess body weight before gastric bypass surgery may help shorten hospital stays and increase the odds of substantial weight loss in the following year, researchers reported in the October Archives of Surgery.

Christopher D. Still, D.O., of the Geisinger Health Care System, Danville, Pa., and colleagues followed 884 patients who underwent open or laparoscopic Roux-en-Y bypass surgery at their medical center between 2002 and 2006. All patients were required to participate in a preoperative counseling and education program, during which they were encouraged to achieve a 10 percent loss of excess body weight.

The 425 patients who achieved the 10 percent preoperative weight loss goal were more likely to achieve a 70 percent weight loss after a mean follow-up of one year. Those who lost between 5 percent and 10 percent of their excess weight prior to surgery were less likely to remain in the hospital more than four days than those who did not reach the 5 percent level. Neither outcome was influenced by type of bypass surgery performed.

In an invited critique, Raul J. Rosenthal, M.D., of the Cleveland Clinic Florida, in Weston, Fla., commented, "With the dramatic increase in the prevalence of surgical treatment for morbid obesity, it has become essential for clinicians to better select and preoperatively prepare patients to decrease the postoperative procedure-related morbidity and mortality as well as to achieve excellent longer-term results."

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