No one reading this blog would, for one nanosecond, believe that I think that any type of bariatric surgery is a good idea.  Sure, there are varying degrees of severity like the LapBand and Roux-en-Y bypass, but they all miss a very, very important point.

 It has even gotten to the point where insurance will pay for a gastric procedure, which ranges anywhere from $18-35,000.  Research on bariatric procedures actually show some pretty good benefits quickly after the procedure.  But this is where it ends.

Most of the long term studies on gastric procedures do not show good long term effects.  Period.  While the long term effects of LapBand do not seem to be as dangerous as bypass, they all have a critical shortfall.  Patients have not learned how to eat right.

Sure, there is a required class to take before insurance will pay for your procedure (yeah–just how effective is a class taught by the people that stand to make thousands of dollars on your procedure??), but these are usually just to subliminally reinforce that your weight is genetic and there is little you can do about it.

This particular study just nails it.  They followed 100 Roux-en-Y patients for 5 years.  At the end of 5 years, a striking 85% had experienced significant weight regain.  The diets had excessive intake of calories, snacks, sweets, and fatty foods.  Furthermore, sedentary lifestyle was common.  Many of these patients did not feel they had adequate nutritional counseling.  Which is extremely disturbing, since, with a bypass surgery, you have permanently altered the ability of your body to break down and absorb nutrients.

The bottom line is that, while many think surgery will be the answer and the bariatric clinics will give you all kinds of emotional stories of how patients got their lives back after surgery, the reality is quite different.  Without making the lifestyle changes that should’ve been done prior to the surgery, the chance for weight regain is high.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.