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Weight Loss Surgery Benefits Adults Over 65

Weight Loss Surgery Benefits Adults Over 65

Weight-loss surgery poses no extra risk for the elderly…

A new study suggests that age does not significantly increase the risks associated with having weight loss surgery. The study, in which researchers analyzed data from more than 48,000 adults in the national registry who had undergone open or laparoscopic bariatric surgery between 2005 and 2009, found that adults over the age of 65 were at no greater risk of experiencing complications within a month after their surgeries, compared with those aged between 30-40. Although some were more likely to experience longer hospital stays.

The researchers do note that the figures are statistical and may not show the true numbers.

weight loss surgery benefits over 65 550x365 Weight Loss Surgery Benefits Adults Over 65

Weight Loss Surgery No Increased Risk For Over 65

Many experts are behind the new study and hope that such findings will eventually label weight loss surgery safe for many more seniors. Robert B. Dorman, MD, PhD, a general surgery resident at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, said:

“If the patient is over age 65, and they’re otherwise relatively healthy, I think this study gives surgeons an opportunity to tell the patients that they can undergo these operations with relatively similar outcomes compared to younger age populations,”

From 2005 – 2009 when the study was being conducted, the number of adults over 65 opting for weight loss surgery more than doubled, and it’s because of this dramatic rise in numbers that experts such as Thomas H. Magnuson, MD, director of the Johns Hopkins Obesity Surgery Service in Baltimore agree that it’s important to make sure the ‘outcomes are still safe’.

Magnuson also noted that weight loss surgery provides the elderly with more benefits that simply dropping pounds and regaining self esteem:

“Older patients definitely benefit from the operation oftentimes more in terms of quality of life. If you can have someone who is 72 years old lose 100 pounds, they can get better quality of life, such as, you know flying on an airplane with their grandkids or just getting around better to enjoy life,”

The study was presented at Digestive Disease Week 2011 in Chicago.

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  1. Brenda Goodman: Weight Loss Surgery May Benefit Older Adults. WebMD, 05/09/2011.

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