Metabolic Syndrome: Resolution Seen with Lap Band

Many candidates for weight loss surgery have weight-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or obstructive sleep apnea.  Obese people are also at a higher risk for a lesser-known condition called Metabolic Syndrome, which is closely linked to carrying excess weight and inactivity.

The syndrome is a collection of factors that raise the risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke. The risk factors include abdominal obesity or “having an apple shape,” a high triglyceride level, a low HDL cholesterol level, high blood pressure and high fasting blood sugar. People with three or more of these risk factors can be diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome.

Successfully controlling Metabolic Syndrome requires significant effort and lifestyle changes. However, a new study found that Lap-Band surgery can be especially effective at resolving Metabolic Syndrome in obese patients—with encouraging results out to five years post-surgery.

The study from NYU School of Medicine also reported improvements in the individual risk factors of the syndrome and a reduction in use of diabetes and high blood pressure medications.  The study involved 50 obese patients who underwent Lap-Band surgery. Prior to surgery, 43 percent of the patients met the criteria for metabolic syndrome.  One year after surgery, this figure was reduced to just 15 percent, and remained decreased throughout 5 years of follow-up. The patients also lost a significant amount of weight, with the average BMI dropping from about 35 at the baseline of the study, to 27.9 at 5 years. Components of Metabolic Syndrome also improved individually, such as fasting blood glucose, cholesterol levels, and waist circumference (a measure of abdominal obesity).

Dr Christine Ren Fielding of NYU was involved in the study. She said, “Many people, including some physicians, have felt that bariatric surgery should be reserved for the ‘morbidly obese’, classified as having BMI well over 40. However, we see that individuals with BMI as low as 30 suffer from metabolic syndrome and can benefit from bariatric surgery.” The findings are encouraging and suggest that the Lap-Band can resolve Metabolic Syndrome in patients who have it, as well as possibly prevent the appearance of it in those who don’t have it before surgery.  You can learn more by calling our office at 858-457-4917.

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