Health Watch — The Post-holiday Diet: Pre-surgery weight loss

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about those post-holiday pledges to lose weight. For people who need to lose a significant amount of weight, gastric bypass surgery may be an option. But although the surgery is meant to help you lose weight, losing a few pounds BEFORE the surgery could make for an easier operation.

Dr. Sergio Huerta, a bariatric surgeon at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says losing 8 percent of body weight before the surgery means the patient spends less time in surgery. That’s probably because the reduced weight means the procedure is less challenging for surgeons operating on super-obese patients. However, studies haven’t shown that pre-surgery weight loss results in fewer post-surgical complications or leads to any difference in long-term weight loss.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in bariatrics.


December 2008

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