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Gastric bypass surgery improves function and structure of heart

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Weight loss surgery improves heart function.

Gastric bypass surgery for weight loss is found to remodel the heart, found in a follow-up of severely obese patients two years after they received weight loss surgery.

Weight loss or gastric bypass surgery is becoming an option for severely obese patients and has been associated with improved heart function, lower cholesterol levels and reduced risk of developing diabetes. In a new study, researchers found that marked weight loss from bariatric surgery was also associated with cardiac remodeling - specifically improved left and right ventricular heart function.

In the study, scientists compared 423 severely obese patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery to a group of patients who did not receive the weight loss surgery.

After 2 years, the gastric bypass patients had higher good, or HDL cholesterol levels, reduced waist circumference and significantly lower body mass index compared to the control group. They also had lower blood pressure, improved triglyceride levels and lower heart rates.

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The results also showed reductions in left ventricular (LV) mass index and right ventricular (RV) cavity area from remodeling of the heart muscle and improved cardiac function.

In addition to smaller heart chambers, the researchers also found gastric bypass surgery restored the shape of the heart chambers.

The researchers concluded gastric bypass surgery that leads to marked weight loss also remodels the heart and improves heart function, supporting the benefits of weight loss surgery to prevent heart disease risks in severely obese individuals.

J Am Coll Cardiol, 2011; 57:732-739, doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2010.10.017
"Favorable Changes in Cardiac Geometry and Function Following Gastric Bypass Surgery"