Weight-Loss Surgery, Bad News

Dr. Fuhrman will never give weight-loss surgery his endorsement. Why? It’s risky and full of complications. He talks about it in Eat to Live. Here’s a snippet:

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), wound problems and complications from blood clots are common aftereffects of gastric bypass and gastroplasty surgery. The NIH has also reported that those undergoing surgical treatment for obesity have had substantial nutritional and metabolic complications, gastritis, esophagitis, outlet stenosis, and abdominal hernias. More than 10 percent required another operation to fix problems resulting from the first surgery.1

And some new research confirms Dr. Fuhrman’s concerns. According to Reuters death-risks increase after weight-loss surgery. Michael Conlon reports:

Patients who undergo weight-loss stomach surgery have a higher death rate than is true for the general population, including more suicides, perhaps linked to depression, researchers said on Monday.


The higher risk of death generally is due not to the surgery itself but to the health problems that accompany obesity, and the damage that the condition does to the body before and after surgery, the researchers said.

Dr. Bennet Omalu and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh said a review of more than 16,000 bariatric operations done in Pennsylvania over a nine-year period found a "substantial excess of deaths owing to suicide and coronary artery disease" compared to normal death rates found in the population at large.

Why not just eat healthfully and exercise?

1. Papakonstantinou, A., P. Alfaras, V. Komessidou, and E. Hadjiyannakis. 1998. Gastrointestinal complications after vertical banded gastroplasty. Obes. Surg. 8 (2): 215–17; Choi, Y., J. Frizzi, A. Foley, and M. Harkabus. 1999. Patient satisfaction and results of vertical banded gastroplasty and gastric bypass. Obes. Surg. 9 (1): 33–35; Guidelines for treatment of adult obesity. 1998. Second edition. Bethesda, Md.: Shape Up America and the American Obesity Association.

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