Is Bariatric Surgery Safe?

A  new study came out in the New England Journal of Medicine last Thursday, it had some interesting things to say about the safety and effectiveness of bariatric surgery…….

I don’t want to bore you with all the technical stuff, but basically almost 5000 first time bariatric patients (4,776 to be exact) were followed at 10 hospitals from 2005 thru 2007 and the key findings from the study were:

1) The National Institutes of Health (NIH) study found that the risks of bariatric surgery have decreased dramatically and now are no greater than gallbladder or hip replacement surgery.

2) The risks of surgery are now lower than the long term risks of diabetes, heart disease and other medical problems that develop from carrying too much weight. (As many of you who have seen me in the office know, I often say we shouldn’t talk about the risks of the surgery, we should talk about the risk of not doing the surgery.  In other words what is going to happen to your body after 10 years of diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, heart disease etc)

3) The study should support a higher level of confidence in bariatric surgery among primary care doctors.

4) An editorial accompanying the study stated: “The surgery is safe, effective, and affordable” because it can decrease the number of doctor visits, medication use and other medical expenses.

When a new patient comes to see me in the office they want to know about the risks of the surgery (and that is appropriate).  This study, however confirms something I’ve known for a while.  If you are heavy enough to be a candidate for bariatric surgery, the extra weight you are carrying, (and the medical problems associated with that weight) is far more risky to your health than bariatric surgery.  But, then again, those of you who have had the surgery already knew that, didn’t you?

Free Informational Seminar

  I will be having a free informational seminar at my Millburn office on August 12th starting a 6:30 pm.  It is a very informal event where you can come find out about bariatric surgery and get questions answered.  If you or someone you know is interested please call (973-218-1990) or email us ( to confirm
August Support Group

 The August support group will combine all of the groups into one and will be held on Wednesday August 12th.  It is at the usual location: The ACC, 200 South Orange Ave, Livingston, starting at 6 pm.  This month we have a guest speaker: Dr. Michael Rothkopf (many of you may know him) he will be discussing nutrition, metabolism, and vitamins.
End Quote

I have 2 quotes this week……I couldn’t decide!

“You are never too old to be what  you might have been”  George Eliot

“If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself”
Mickey Mantle

As always, thanks for trusting me with your healthcare
Michael Bilof
Contact Information

web site address:
phone: (973) 218-1990

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March 2008 - Patient Seminar

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