Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- It’s projected that 31 million people in the United States can qualify for gastric bypass surgery. Just 1o years ago, this surgery was new and little was known about its long-term benefits. A new study examined whether these benefits, including sustained weight loss, lower cardiovascular and diabetes risks continued six years after having the operation.
Jody Stubler had gastric bypass surgery and is now 120 pounds lighter.
“Losing this weight has helped me to gain tremendous confidence in myself and my own abilities,” Stubler said.
Gastric bypass surgery has not only helped Stubler lose weight, she’s also no longer diabetic and her blood pressure and cholesterol levels are normal. Bariatric surgeons Steven Simper and Rodrick McKinlay are performing a gastric bypass at the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Dr. Ted Adams from the University of Utah School of Medicine and co-authors studied the ongoing health benefits of the procedure after six years. The study included more than 1,100 severely obese patients. One group had the surgery and there were two control groups -- Those who were approved for surgery, but didn’t have the operation and those who were not considering the procedure.
"Almost 80 percent all of those patients who had gastric bypass surgery at six years had been able to maintain a very significant degree of weight-loss,” Dr. Adams said.
The study appears in a theme issue on obesity in this week’s JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association.
“Every cardiovascular risk factor that we studied had improved significantly or remained improved in the patients who had the gastric bypass surgery when compared to those who did not,” said Dr. Adams.
Hypertension, cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and Type II diabetes also decreased or were resolved in those who had the surgery.
"New cases of diabetes among patients who had gastric bypass surgery was significantly lower when compared to the controls,” Dr. Adams explained. "Patients going into the surgery should have the benefit and seek the opportunity to make sure the mental, social related aspects of this procedure are being addressed."
Stubler’s now back in school, enjoying quality time with her family and says there’s one other perk that comes with losing 120 pounds, “I am so happy with the way I look and I can go into any store and find clothes that fit.”
Researchers say only one gastric bypass patient in the study regained all the weight that had been lost.