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Obesity better handled with gastric bypass surgery

A few years ago, 43-year-old Patrick Deuel of Nebraska, was slated for a slow but sure death, weighing in at 486 kg, suffering from diabetes //and unable to sit up or even turn over in bed.

Deuel is now half the man he used to be, as he lost more than 200 kg after undergoing an operation that is becoming increasingly popular among morbidly obese Americans.

The acclaimed soprano and opera singer, Deborah Voigt, also lost 50 kg after she underwent a gastric bypass in the US, an operation that reduces the stomach to the size of a pouch that can hold 30 to 60 ml. The procedure also places a bypass around the middle portion of the small intestine to decrease the amount of calories absorbed.

The weight-loss operation was also found to offer cure to obesity-related health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, serious stomach problems due to gastroesophageal reflux disease and sleep apnea.

Indeed, the exploding gastric bypass surgery industry has been tempting for a number of doctors and hospitals. The US Food and Drug Administration approved the gastric bypass procedure for patients with at least 45 kg excess weight. Since then, hospitals and doctors across the country have been courting potential patients, especially those paying for the operation themselves.

It is however not without complications. About 25 percent of patients experience postoperative complications, and with a two percent death rate from surgery one may even wonder if the FDA approval for this procedure is a little hasty.

Many patients due of gastric bypass surgery eventually end up either getting a second surgery for reduction of skin flaps and others land up in depression following failure.

In view of the facts mentioned above perhaps more studies and research might be needed by the FDA to prove that the benefit outweighs the risks and complication involved in the gastric bypass procedure. And perhaps only aft
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