Study: Hav­ing weight-loss surgery with a rel­a­tive boosts pa­tient suc­cess

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION - By Shari Roan

LOS AN­GE­LES — Peo­ple who un­dergo gas­tric by­pass surgery at the same time as a fam­ily mem­ber are likely to suc­ceed far bet­ter than peo­ple who un­dergo the surgery alone, ac­cord­ing to a study re­leased last week at the an­nual meet­ing of the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety for Meta­bolic & Bariatric Surgery.

Prior re­search has shown that hav­ing an ex­er­cise part­ner helps peo­ple stick to their work­out reg­i­men and ac­crue greater health ben­e­fits from ex­er­cise.

It ap­pears that the same dy­namic can work for peo­ple hav­ing bariatric surgery.

Re­searchers from the Uni­ver­sity of Medicine and Den­tistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood John­son Med­i­cal School fol­lowed 91 pa­tients from 41 fam­i­lies who had surgery with a sib­ling, par­ent, child, spouse, cousin, grand­mother, grand­daugh­ter, in-law, aunt, un­cle, nephew or niece. They were com­pared with sim­i­lar pa­tients who had surgery alone.

Af­ter one year, the fam­ily mem­bers lost, on av­er­age, about 30 per­cent more of their ex­cess weight than did the con­trol group. Sib­lings, in par­tic­u­lar, fared es­pe­cially well to­gether. They lost about 40 per­cent more of their ex­cess weight com­pared with the con­trol group.

“Clearly the fam­ily dy­namic, even a lit­tle sib­ling ri­valry, can play an im­por­tant role in pa­tient suc­cess,” said the lead author of the study, Dr. Gus Slot­man. “Fam­ily mem­bers are a built-in sup­port sys­tem that can help turn a good re­sult into a great re­sult, par­tic­u­larly the first year af­ter surgery, when ad­just­ing to a new life­style and di­etary re­quire­ments can be chal­leng­ing.”

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