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Obesity Surgery Doesn't Just Shrink Stomach

Also lowers levels of hunger hormone, study says

MONDAY, July 12, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Gastric bypass surgery might help lower a person's weight beyond simply restricting the amount of food he or she can eat, suggests an article in the July issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Severely obese patients who had the surgery showed significant early declines in levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates the appetite, researchers at Emory University in Atlanta found.

The doctors believe this might help explain the loss of hunger sensation and rapid weight loss observed following gastric bypass.

The study involved 42 patients who were morbidly obese. Thirty-four underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, in which the stomach is completely divided in two. Eight others had a less severe form of the surgery.

The patients whose stomachs were divided showed a significant decrease in ghrelin levels. Those who underwent less severe gastric bypasses did not show a similar decrease.

More information

The National Institutes of Health have more about gastric bypass surgery.

SOURCES: American Medical Association, news release, July 12, 2004
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