Obesity, and How to Profit from Diabetes…?

Obesity, and How to Profit from Diabetes…?

Several obesity related news items are prominent in the news this past week.

Food Network television personality Paula Deen has hidden her diabetic condition for several years, and now profits from a drug company endorsement deal and years of selling grossly unhealthy food recipe books and television content. Additionally, new studies reveal that for weight-loss surgery options, gastric bypass comes with more complications shortly after surgery than gastric banding, but makes up for it with fewer long-term side effects and repeat operations.

Another television chef/travel writer personality, New York based Anthony Bourdain of Travel Channel, is critical of Deen for her concurrent announcement she had diabetes and had inked an endorsement deal of a diabetes drug.

Read: Our top 5 tips to avoid diabetes…

“Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later,” Bourdain said last week. He has also previously called Deen the “worst, most dangerous person to America” for her down home caloric caution to the wind.

Undoubtedly, the love of the grease, fried and steeped in savory sauce has led Americans down a path of the highest obesity rates in recorded history. Your SignatureMD concierge care physician can help you keep to a weight maintenance plan that can whittle off pounds, but for those who have serious obesity issues, you may be referred to a Bariatric surgeon specialist by your primary care doctor.

In a new research study published last week, people who got bypass surgery lost weight faster, and more kept it off, in the study of more than 400 obese Swiss patients.

“What we would like with any of the (weight-loss) procedures ideally would be to have the least long-term complications, certainly the least long-term complications requiring (repeat) surgery,” said Dr. Michel Suter, a surgeon from the Hopital du Chablais, Aigle, a researcher in the study.

“There are drawbacks with bypass, there are side effects, and we have to take them into account,”  Chablais told Reuters Health. But “overall, if I had to choose between the procedures, I certainly recommend the bypass.”

The study employed the records of 442 obese patients who underwent weight-loss surgery at their hospitals between 1998 and 2005.

According to Reuters Health, half of the patients had gastric band procedures, which involve placing a band around the top of the stomach to limit its size to a small pouch. The others were treated with gastric bypass, when the stomach is stapled off and then rerouted to bypass a segment of the small intestine. The two groups were similar in terms of their age and initial weight.

The follow up occurred for twice a year for the next six years, post-surgery.

Complications, according to the research, were more common after gastric bypass than after banding: 17 percent of bypass patients had any surgery-related problems, compared to five percent in the banding group.

“The operation itself is a little more complicated and a little more risky,” Suter told Reuters Health.

After years of following the results of these two procedures, the bypass group lost weight faster, put less of it back on and suffered fewer long-term complications, including having to undergo any repeat procedures.

Board-certified Bariatric specialist Dr. Carson Liu, of Santa Monica, CA, a specialist in bariatric surgery, spoke to website Monsters and Critics about his obese patients who tell him that the hardest thing they ever did was to pick up the phone to explore weight loss surgery.

“There is a pervasive perception that obese people are simply lazy and all they need to do is stop eating so much and start exercising to lose weight. Further, when they choose to have lap band surgery they are simply taking a short cut or easy way out,” he says.

In reality, Dr. Liu , an expert in obesity, its causes and solutions explains that once you become morbidly obese, it is almost impossible to diet and maintain the weight loss over a period of time.

According to Liu, lap band bariatric surgery is a rigorous process of re-learning (or learning for the first time) how to eat..chewing and swallowing food slowly…taking longer to finish a meal or they regurgitate; how much to eat, what to eat, how to prepare nutritious meals, and of course, the magic of incorporating some form of exercise into daily life.

The lap band is a difficult decision, but a rewarding one done with the right surgeon. “There is hard work involved,” says Dr. Liu. “But the trials and tribulations that the patients go through to reach their goal is a journey that I take with all of my patients.”

The study revealed that the long-term complications of gastric banding were from erosion, food intolerance or stretching of the esophagus.

Bypass patients most often had internal hernias, a type of bowel blockage that can be life-threatening if not treated.

As with any surgery, the technique and surgeon’s experience can affect outcome. This is why it is imperative to trust your primary SignatureMD doctor’s recommendation for a specialist if surgery is the most expeditious route for the patient to regain a healthy weight.

Weight-loss surgery procedures have their overwhelming benefits in treating the disease of obesity. But now data is determining that Gastric Bypass is a more definitive and successful procedure to elect.


I.  Archives of Surgery, online January 16, 2012.
II. Bariatric Surgery Reality Check Dr Carson Liu Explains Post Operation Changes