Development of Surgical Treatments for Obesity

The concept for bariatric surgery, or the surgical treatment of obesity, came about somewhat serendipitously. In the course of removing large portions of the stomach or small intestine in patients with cancer or severe ulcers, surgeons noticed an interesting trend. The patients tended to lose weight. Over the past 50 years, numerous world-class surgeons have taken part in exploring this concept. As with anything, there was a learning curve. But the mistakes and shared global data have helped other innovators to improve upon the techniques and bring bariatric surgery into the modern age. The bariatric surgery procedures available today have either stood the test of time or drawn from the lessons learned by the early pioneers. As a result, bariatric surgery treatment for obesity has never been as safe or as effective. In Summary Bariatric patients have more choices than ever, not to mention better and safer ones. Operative mortality for most contemporary weight loss surgeries has fallen to less than 1% while permanent and significant weight loss has been achieved in multiple published reports. For the growing population of morbidly obese Americans, bariatric surgery has cemented its place as the most effective weight loss treatment available.

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