Study Says Bariatric Surgery Procedures Continue to Rise in Canada

According to a new Canada Institute for Health Information (CIHI) study, weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery procedures in Canada has risen 4 times since 2006 and 2007. The new study says that the health care system has worked hard to meet the demand for the general public. The study was released on May 20, 2014 and discussed obesity trends and the need for more surgery. According to Kathleen Morris of the CIHI, 1 in 5 Canadian adults are obese and with those rates growing continuously, the need for surgery will rise at a similar rate. According to Memorial University in St. John’s, nearly 21% of all Canadian Adults will be obese by the year 2019.

About the Study

The CIHI study evaluated nearly 6,000 bariatric surgeries performed at Canadian hospitals in any province in 2012-2013 compared to just 1,600 in 2006 or 2007. The study found that 8 out of every 10 patients was woman. They found that in places such as Atlantic Canada where the demand is especially high, resources are still struggling to keep up with the demand for surgery, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff of the Bariatric Medical Institute in Ottawa said.

The report itself draws attention to the efforts of the Ontario Bariatric Network, which was created in 2009. The organization has four centers of excellences across the entire province that includes assessment and treatment centers that allow for more surgeries to take place. However places such as Nova Scotia don’t have the same ability to provide services to patients. To the province, the epidemic is relatively new, so patients are more likely to wait longer to have bariatric surgeries there, Tom Ransom of the Queen Elizabeth Health Science Centre in Halifax said.

The CIHI study shows that there are three different types of weight loss surgery that are covered by country-wide health care plans. The first, adjustable gastric banding, is a procedure where a flexible band is placed around the top portion of the stomach. The second procedure, sleeve gastronomy or gastric sleeve, removes up to 85% of the stomach. The last procedure, gastric bypass, is by far the most popular. In this procedure, the stomach size is reduced and a portion of the small intestine itself is bypassed to promote weight loss.

According to the study, only 6% of patients who had bariatric surgery returned to the hospital in 30 days, down from 9% in the 2006/2007 numbers. Freedhoof believes that these surgeries improve patient’s quality of life and their overall health. Another study by the New England Journal of Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic found that surgery improved Type 2 Diabetes in patients and up to three years following their surgical procedure. The study also reported that weight loss surgery patients with high cholesterol or high blood pressure had less of a need for their medication post-surgery.

Mortality rates range from just .1% to 2%. There are also a variety of potential complications that can occur as a result of surgery such as bowel obstructions, gallstones, ulcers and excessive scar tissue. The report focuses on prevention and how easy access to high fat and high sugar foods and lack of exercise are contributing to the obesity problem in Canada.

Study Says Bariatric Surgery Procedures Continue to Rise in Canada
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