A new review finds that weight-loss surgery helps very obese patients drop pounds and improve their overall health, even if there is some risk for complications.
“We’ve gotten good at doing this,” said Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of weight-loss surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “Bariatric surgery has become one of the safest intra-abdominal major procedures.”
“The question is why we don’t start facing the facts,” said Roslin, who was not involved in the new review. “If the data were this good with any other condition, the standard of care for morbid obesity would be surgery.” Roslin said he thinks a bias against obesity tinges the way people look at weight-loss surgery. “People don’t view obesity as a disease, and blame the victim,” he said. “We have this ridiculous notion that the next diet is going to be effective — although there has never been an effective diet for people who are severely obese.”
Morbid obesity is a chronic condition that is practically irreversible and needs to be treated aggressively, Roslin said. “The only treatment that’s effective is surgery,” he said.