Weight loss surgery has long-term benefits for pain and mobility
FRIDAY, Sept. 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Bariatric surgery aims to help severely obese patients lose weight, and now new research shows many can expect lasting pain relief and mobility, too.
Although many patients regain weight within the first two years after bariatric surgery, the pain and benefits of movement seem to stand the test of time. Seven years later, 43% of the approximately 1,500 patients enrolled in the the study said their joint pain remained significantly lower than before surgery, and nearly two-thirds said their physical functioning was even better.
“Previous studies have provided evidence that bariatric surgical procedures are associated with clinically important improvements in pain, physical function, and work productivity; however, most studies only followed participants for a at two years, by which time the participants were at the peak of their weight loss,” said lead author Wendy King. She is an associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh.
People also read…
King and his colleagues found that patients experienced “clinically important improvements in body and joint-specific pain and physical function” seven years after the two most common types of bariatric surgery — Gastric Bypass Roux-en-Y Where sleeve gastrectomy.
The new study builds on previous research from the same team, which found that three years after bariatric surgery, 50-70% of patients reported less pain, as well as better walking speed and physical function. greatly improved.
Patients in the new study underwent weight loss surgery between 2006 and 2009. About 8 in 10 were white women, ages 38 to 55.
Between three and seven years after surgery, the percentage of patients who were still reporting clinically important gains in pain, physical function and walking speed fell – all down 7 to 11 percentage points, according to the report. ‘study.
Even so, seven years later, half still walked faster when taking a 400-meter walk than before the operation. Forty-three percent still saw significant improvements in pain and 64% in physical function.
An improved ability to handle the physical demands of the job was another lasting benefit of the surgery.
While nearly two-thirds of participants said that joint pain and their general health interfered with their ability to do their job before surgery, that percentage dropped to 43% seven years later.
“I was impressed with the durability of the initial pre- and post-operative improvements in pain, function and work productivity,” said King, who added that the declines between three and seven years were small. , especially considering that participants are getting older.
Overall, the results add to the belief that “the benefits of modern bariatric surgical procedures – i.e. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy – far outweigh the risks.” “, King said.
Lona Sandon, program director at the School of Health Professions at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, reviewed the findings.
She said the additional benefits highlighted in the study are well known to doctors, who typically point them out to potential patients, even when patients’ primary motivation for surgery may be weight loss rather than pain relief. pain.
“Insurance does not approve surgery based on pain scales or movement capacity because those are not considered medical diagnoses,” while obesity is, Sandon said.
“Insurance isn’t good at paying for prevention either. Therefore, weight becomes the primary focus,” she said, leaving patients to view the added benefits of surgery as a “bonus.” if and when they feel them.
“It’s nice to see a long-term study showing that these benefits last over time,” Sandon said. “Feeling better physically with less pain and a greater ability to move can go a long way in improving mood and quality of life.”
The results were published on September 14 in Open JAMA Network.
The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery says more about the benefits of bariatric surgery.
SOURCES: Wendy King, PhD, associate professor, epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health; Lona Sandon, PhD, RDN, LD, program director and associate professor, clinical nutrition, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; Open JAMA NetworkSeptember 14, 2022