Bariatric Surgery May Improve Coronary Atherosclerosis

You may think that the most important benefit of bariatric surgery is a leaner you or that it will just make you feel better, but recent studies of patients who have undergone weight loss surgery have shown that these patients are also reducing their risk of suffering from many weight related diseases including coronary atherosclerosis.

Coronary atherosclerosis is commonly known as hardening of the arteries, but it really is a fatty plaque buildup in the arteries that restricts blood flow. Coronary arteries are the tiny vessels that surround and supply blood to your heart muscles. When these arteries are blocked or blood flow becomes restricted, that’s when heart attacks will occur.

Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine studied 50 people, who had chosen to undergo bariatric surgery, over a period of two years. Prior to having their surgery the patients studied either had a BMI or Body Mass Index over 40 or had BMI’s ranging from thirty five to forty in addition to two obesity related risk factors.

The study showed that the average BMI dropped from forty seven to twenty nine. Not only was this benefit noted, but the thickness of the carotid intima media or the thickness of the wall of the carotid arteries decreased by .34 mm from 0.84mm to 0.50mm. In turn the average flow of blood through these arteries increased from six percent to 14.9 percent.

Another promising benefit from the bariatric surgery was that patients were able to decrease their use of drugs that control high blood pressure as well as lipid or cholesterol medications.

Researchers also noted that not only did these patients become physically healthier and lower their risk of metabolic syndrome, but in the future these findings may affect insurance coverage for bariatric surgical procedures. There are many more benefits to weight loss surgery than just looking better.