DDW: Minimally Invasive Surgery May Help Obese Teens

May 21, 2008

Minimally invasive per-oral suturing may benefit obese adolescents, and supplementation with probiotics may benefit patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery, according to advancements in obesity research presented this week at the Digestive Disease Week conference in San Diego.

WEDNESDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Minimally invasive per-oral suturing may benefit obese adolescents, and supplementation with probiotics may benefit patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery, according to advancements in obesity research presented this week at the Digestive Disease Week conference in San Diego.

In one study, Roberto Fogel, M.D., of Hospital de Clinicas Caracas, Venezuela, and colleagues performed endoluminal vertical gastroplasty on 12 patients aged 14 to 17 with a mean baseline body mass index of 38.1. After six months, the mean body mass index decreased to 27.8, but the researchers noted that success of the procedure depends on patients committing to a rigorous post-surgical diet and exercise program monitored by a nutritionist.

In a second study, John M. Morton, M.D., of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif., and colleagues randomly assigned 42 patients who had successfully undergone gastric bypass surgery to receive either a daily probiotics supplement containing 2.4 billion colonies of Lactobacillus or to serve as a control group. After six months, the investigators found that the probiotics group had a smaller hydrogen breath test peak, lower levels of fasting insulin, lipoprotein A and triglycerides, and higher levels of HDL cholesterol. The probiotics group also had significantly higher scores on the Gastrointestinal Related Quality of Life test. The researchers also found that the probiotics group was also more likely to lose excess weight (70 percent versus 66 percent).

"Finding that probiotics can actually enhance weight loss was an unexpected result," Morton said in a statement. "There is no magic bullet for fighting obesity, but this simple dietary supplement may be one more weapon we can add to our arsenal."

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