Monday, July 24, 2006

Bariatric Surgery Causes Complications 40% of the Time

I've always been intrigued by the phenomenon of bariatric surgery. In my understanding, this is a technique where a person who is obese can have their stomach reduced to about the size of a walnut using surgery.

The theory is that if your stomach is smaller then you can't eat as much, so you will lose weight.

Does this make sense to anyone? So here is a person with an unhealthy lifestyle, eats too much, doesn't exercise enough, and the answer is SURGERY?

Surgery is so dangerous in general, but it sounds like this procedure is more so. Forbes magazine reports that 40% of people who have bariatric surgery have complications in the subsequent six months. These complications include leaks, hernias, infections and pneumonia. It also includes something called "dumping syndrome" (???) which means vomiting, reflux and diarrhea. Sounds nice, huh?

Of course, the excuses are coming out of the woodwork as to why this study should be ignored. The data is too old (2001). Dumping syndrome isn't that bad. As long as it isn't you who's dumping, I suppose it's fine.

Why would someone do this? Yes, changing your eating habits is hard. I can testify to that. Yes, establishing a good exercise ritual is hard. But seeing surgery as a viable option is just beyond my comprehension.

I don't like to post rants on this blog, generally, but this one just set me off.

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