Recent studies indicate that bariatric surgery can be effective in helping to reduce cholesterol levels in morbidly obese individuals. The facts indicate that hyperlipidemia is seen in approximately 50% of individuals categorized as severely obese. There is also no indication that there is improvement in lipid levels after traditional weight management techniques and methods. This means that there was very little change seen across the board.
One study uses the analysis of 248 patients that underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Women with an approximate age of 39 years made up 198 of the patient population. Out of the group, 94 patients had hyperlipidemia and 23 were being treated with lipid lowering medication. They all participated in the weight loss surgery and came through the surgery without major events.
Patients who had a total cholesterol level of >200 mg/dL and triglyceride levels of >150 mg/dL where considered to be hyperlipidemia. The patients that were being treated with lipid lowering medications made up 24% before the surgery. At the six month mark after the surgeries, a mere 2% were still on medications. The patients exhibited a decline of total cholesterol levels of 20% six months after the surgery. The triglyceride levels also dropped more than 40% at the follow up. The LDL cholesterol levels took a decrease of 20% during the six month follow up. This translates into a ratio of HDL cholesterol dropping from 4.3 to 2.8 over the course of the study.
Individuals participating in the study showed an average excess body weight loss of 80% over a six year period. The more weight that was lost, the lower the lipid levels and the fewer instances of hyperlipidemia existed in the patients. This is a clear indicator that a bariatric surgery can provide patients with large benefits over the weight loss that they are in need of. The weight loss translates into health benefits such as lower cholesterol levels, reduced risk of heart attack and heart disease, reduced risk of stroke and other such comorbidities.
Not only is bariatric surgery an answer to the weight loss itself, but it also provides patients with the ability to live fuller lives with less medication and more movement. They are able to reverse many conditions that they might be suffering from such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and hyperlipidemia. This means that more patients will be looking toward weight loss surgery as a means of helping them to regain control of their health. Doctors can consider this when they are trying to determine if patients are a good candidate for bariatric surgery. The evidence shows that there is only additional improvement over the long term for patients suffering from hyperlipidemia and undergoing weight loss surgery.