Disclaimer: As much as the academic in me doesn’t like to use terms like ‘they say’ without references, I do not feel the need to make my blog a fully scientific and fully referenced piece of academic work. This is not for peer review and I WILL NOT present a balanced view on anything to do with bariatric or should I call it BARBARIC surgery. As a former patient I believe that my experience is typical and all the research I have carried out since has led me to believe my hypotheses. I could of course prove this beyond all shadow of a doubt, but I don’t have either the time or the inclination to do so. However, should you require this kind of proof, please contact me via the comments section and I will produce all the statistical data to prove my hypothesis that bariatric surgery does not work in the long-term.
Gastric Bands and other Bariatric Surgery
There is a preponderance of information out there on the internet now detailing how Gastric Surgery (bariatric surgery) does not work. It transpires that 50% of patients have the band removed after 5 years (I only lasted 4 years) for one complication or another (not possible to reverse the gastric bypass). The complications range from the band slipping, to perished bands, pouch dilation. to it simply doesn’t work. However, this is lighter side of the complications, by far the most severe would be depression, brittle bones and even suicide all of which are implicated in patients who have under gone bariatric surgery. One study (link below) highlights the fact that most of the patients have to have the band removed. Many of the patients do actually go on to have gastric bypass surgery.
Bypass surgery in particular was seen as the most successful because the surgery involves shortening the small bowl where the majority of the actual absorption of the nutrients is performed. However the issues arising from this surgery are potentially even more damaging. This particular kind of surgery causes malabsorption of vital nutrients. Patients are required to take vitamins and supplements in order to survive. I would ask the question that if they have reduced the capacity to absorb the nutrients from the proper sources i.e. food, how on earth is the body going to metabolize the nutrients from pills, surely the patients would require injections of some sort to ensure the uptake of nutrients into the blood stream? This would have to be part of the cause of the brittle bones, and depression seen in patients. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1292350/From-brittle-bones-depression-suicide-true-costs-gastric-bands–watch-Vanessa-Feltz–lose-weight.html
Moreover, the authors of the first study Himpens and colleagues also found that the prevalence of obesity-related illnesses — hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and obstructive sleep apnea treatment — remained the same or increased over time.
Of the 152 people in this study, only 82 could be contacted for follow-up.
Among the 82 with follow-up data, 32 indicated they had suffered major complications. These included nine cases of pouch dilation (requiring band removal in six) and 23 instances of band erosion. The band erosion was discovered after and average of 4 years and resulted in gastric bypass surgery in 19 of the 23 cases.
They suggested that the patients lost to follow-up probably had lost little weight, insofar as regular post-operative evaluations and treatment are “a critical factor for success in bariatric procedures.”
Link to an interview with a Dr who actually performs bariactric surgery and how his opinions have changed following this study.
The surgical team at the Leicester Royal Infirmary where I eventually had my band removed are all of similar opinions expressed in the two articles linked above. In one conversation it was requested that either Martin, I or both of us publish the results from our journey from gastric band to fitness and stop as many people as possible actually having this surgery.
The government in the UK are happier to pay for gastric/bariatric surgery on the NHS (which is certainly not cheap) than to correct the misinformation poured down people’s throats daily. Should they realign their beliefs and actually pay attention to the preponderance of information and scientific studies that prove the surgery isn’t the answer, but that a healthy diet of natural unprocessed food is the answer to the obesity epidemic, the world would be a healthier and happier place.
So, should you or anyone you know be considering bariatric surgery believing that it’s the quickest, easiest and surest way to lose the weight, I would urge you to read the links and then just google gastric surgery. Don’t just look at the sites that are selling the stuff, pay particular attention to the millions of articles and scientific studies that tell you the truth about the surgery, the pitfalls and the fact that it doesn’t work in the long-term.
Should you require any further information, please feel free to ask any questions by either using the comments section, or via twitter or Facebook. Should you require a private discussion, please let me know and we can arrange that too.