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Weighing in on heart health

Landmark study shows enduring benefits of bariatric surgery

It’s a known fact that obesity increases risk for cardiovascular disease.

Weight-related high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes can put excessive strain on the heart and cause life-threatening damage. While bariatric (weight-loss) surgery is known to have short-term heart health benefits, a groundbreaking new study shows that the surgery can also help the heart recover from damage.*

The study followed 20,000 bariatric surgery patients for at least five years and showed long-term improvements to the heart’s physical structure and function.

“Obesity causes the heart muscle to thicken— a symptom of heart failure,” explains Prashanth Ramachandra, MD, chair of surgery at Mercy Philadelphia and Mercy Fitzgerald Hospitals and director of Mercy Bariatrics. “We now know that once the bariatric patient loses weight, the heart muscle decreases in mass. As long as the patient maintains a healthy weight, the cardiovascular benefits are long-term.”

And there are other post-surgery benefits that indirectly affect heart health. “The kidneys function better, lung problems are reduced or resolved, circulation vastly improves and Type II diabetes can resolve. These issues ultimately affect heart health,” says Dr. Ramachandra. Obesity-linked depression is often cured, he adds, helping patients get out of the house and become more active, an added benefit for the heart!

* According to a 2012 study by the Cleveland Clinic

The award-winning Mercy Bariatrics team is here to answer your weight-loss surgery questions and provide one-on-one counsel. Call 1.855.LESS.YOU or visit mercybariatrics.org for details.

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