Alabama Bariatrics & Minimally Invasive Surgery

Bariatric Diet Orbera Gastric Band Sleeve Gastrectomy Gastric Bypass

W. Jay Suggs, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Huntsville & Decatur
Phone: (256) 274-4523
Fax: (256) 203-8791

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Contact Us

W. Jay Suggs, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Huntsville & Decatur
Phone: (256) 274-4523
Fax: (256) 203-8791
EMail: drsuggs@alabariatrics.com

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Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on UnsplashHuntsville, AL - Most people who work in medical fields , including weight loss surgery experts, learn new things related to their field everyday. It is a requirement for medical professionals to constantly examine and update their standards. They often do this by attending conferences and learning the latest practices that can save more lives and make procedures more effective in the long run. In an ideal scenario, a weight loss surgeon gathers data, shares that data with others, and if it matches, they spread the information to everyone in their field. From there a new standard or weight loss surgery technique is embraced by the medical community.

So, what is the latest discovery or breakthrough to make its way to the public sphere? What new factor is being introduced to the world of weight loss surgery? How can we apply that to a standard practice? Let's find out.

The Trouble With Anti-Obesity Medication

The presence of anti-obesity medication, or weight loss pills is a controversial one. A lot of people who shill such a thing without scientific backing either are either profiting off a placebo or what they are offering is far too dangerous for unchecked human consumption. However, there has been a weight loss medication that has been making waves in the medical community as weight loss surgery experts and patients are trying to understand what to make of it.

Phentermine (an appetite suppressant) and topiramate (a seizure/ migraine drug)are the two making waves in the medical community. Either through a combination or on their own, both medications seem to be having an effect on patients after weight loss surgery.

According to a collected amount of data of post weight loss surgery results, 25% of those surgeries result in some weight regain within a two year period. A lot of people are trying to understand where it comes from and what factors play into this statistic. A publically released statement on The Obesity Society, states, "It is becoming increasingly urgent to mitigate its occurrence and preserve the metabolic and medical benefits of weight loss surgery. The application of pharmacologic agents to deal with this specific problem has been limited in the medical literature."

What Weight Loss Surgery Experts Found

So, in order to answer the question to why this comes up and why the statistic is so high, scientists and medical professionals do what they do best. They research. After cross sectional studies based on at least 3 different statistical models, there came a series of data points that experts could glean from. One of the more outstanding discoveries that when weight loss medications were prescribed after weight loss surgery. "Researchers demonstrated that anti-obesity medications decrease cumulative weight regain by about 10 percent relative and reduced the odds of rapid weight-regain occurrence after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery."

In plain English, when these drugs are prescribed and used in a post op setting, the chances of weight regain decreases in Roux en Y patients. Sometimes these drugs are prescribed together, other times it's just one or the other, but they still saw and published a statistical pattern of results.

It sounds like great news, but there is a caveat to that.

Trust but Verify

While this sounds like good news, this isn't something to be shouted from the rooftop, yet. It is true that there is a pattern on record, but before something can be declared that it definitely works a study has to be replicated by a group of colleagues that have no original ties to the first trial. It is not good enough for one person to make a claim. There has to be verification. And these weight loss surgeons are all too aware of that.

The authors noted that[...] these newer anti-obesity medications[...] need to be explored in further prospective clinical trials. Guidelines also need to be established for initiating and monitoring the potential long-term use of anti-obesity medications after bariatric surgery."

And that is what puts this particular news ahead of the cheap billboards that claim a way to lose 30 lbs in 30 days. They are aware that there is a long road ahead of them and that there needs to be substantial evidence before it can be safely implemented in the public sphere. That is the kind of integrity that most weight loss surgery patients and their loved ones are looking for in this situation.

Still, the thought of something like this being a possibility does bring some hope for people who worry about weight regain after weight loss surgery.

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