HEALTH / WELLNESS

Bariatric Surgery Can Ensure Better Results In Joint Replacement Procedure For Obese Patients

Obesity is bad for the overall well-being of individuals and has been established a major cause of various health ailments such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and even cancer. Most obese people are known to suffer from some sort of joint problem, and in most cases the only way to resolve this problem is for them to undergo a joint replacement surgery. However, it has been observed that excessively overweight often face an increased risk of poor postoperative results after joint replacement surgery. In addition they also face a greater risk of suffering from infection and other medical complications along with the need for a revision surgery.

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Bariatric Surgery – Offering Hope To Patients

The best way for overcoming the above problem is for patients to lose weight before undergoing a joint replacement procedure. However, since weight loss does not happen overnight, this solution is not really practical, especially in case of patients who need to undergo immediate joint replacement. But all hope is not lost as research has proved that such patients can opt to undergo a Bariatric surgery before the joint replacement procedure to get the best outcome. The research has revealed that the Bariatric surgery prior to joint replacement procedure can help reduce the in-hospital and post operative complications besides improving the health of the patients. However, the surgery does not seem to affect the need for revision surgery for joint replacement.

Bariatric Surgery – An Overview

Bariatric surgery is a weight loss procedure wherein the decrease in weight is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach. The surgery affects the metabolic system of the patients in a significant manner while also providing relief in case of other weight related problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The minimally invasive procedure is extremely cost effective and can prove quite effective in enhancing the life span of the patient by helping them cut down the excessive weight and preventing them from becoming the victims of health problems caused by obesity.

About The Study

The study to understand the effects of bariatric surgery planning to undergo joint replacement surgery was conducted by team of doctors at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York. The team was led by Dr. Emily Dodwell, who is an orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital. The team recruited a number of highly obese patients with a body mass index varying between 35 and 40. Each of these patients suffered from at least one health condition related to obesity and was also in need of a hip or knee replacement procedure.

The patients were divided into two groups and the patients from one group were made to undergo the joint replacement surgery without any prior weight-loss procedure. The second group of patients was made to undergo the bariatric surgery with the joint replacement procedure planned after a gap of two years. Here the team of researchers assumed that the at least a third of the patients undergoing the weight-loss procedure, would have lost considerable weight within the two years leading up to the joint replacement surgery, to ensure its complete success.

The Conclusion

The statistical analysis of the study revealed that patients who had undergone bariatric surgery prior to the joint replacement showed better outcomes for the later surgery. They depicted lower rates of in-hospital complications as well as 90 day post-operative complications. However, it was also pointed out that this solution did not prove effective in case of obese patients, who needed were suffering from severe joint pains and needed to undergo replacement surgeries for the same on an immediate basis. To overcome this drawback, the need to adapt a team approach towards the treatment of the patients, wherein the orthopaedics and weight loss surgeons worked in unison, was identified.

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