Gastric Bypass Just As Effective for Seniors

Post-surgery weight loss nearly matched that of young patients

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TUESDAY, Feb. 22, 2005 (HealthDayNews) -- Elderly patients can safely undergo gastric bypass surgery, researchers report.

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, in Scottsdale, Ariz., compared the outcomes of 110 people younger than 60 years of age who underwent the popular weight-loss surgery, to those of 20 patients older than 60.

Both groups experienced a significant decrease in obesity-related diseases, including high blood pressure and diabetes, the researchers report in the February issue of Archives of Surgery. Both sets of patients also cut their overall use of medications by approximately half following their surgeries.

However, younger patients tended to experience slightly greater weight loss. According to the researchers, 10 months after the surgery younger patients lost an average of about 97 pounds, while patients in the over-60 group dropped an average of about 86 pounds.

Based on the findings, the Mayo investigators conclude that "patients of advanced age can safely undergo gastric bypass with operative results nearly identical to those of younger patients."

More information

For more on gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries, head to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Archives of Surgery, news release, Feb. 21, 2005

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