Therapy Insight: weight-loss surgery and major cardiovascular risk factors


Weight-loss surgery is an effective treatment for severe, medically complicated and refractory obesity. It reverses, eliminates or significantly ameliorates major cardiovascular risk factors related to obesity. In a large proportion of patients, the therapy produces significant weight loss, reduces the risk of disability and premature death, and improves quality of life. Surgical treatment by gastric-restrictive and malabsorptive procedures started several decades ago in the US. Since the 1970s, accrued clinical experience and advances in technology, particularly in minimally invasive surgical approaches, have changed this therapy. Some procedures have evolved, whereas others have become obsolete. Today's weight-loss operations are safe, effective and potentially life-saving options for severely obese cardiology patients. This review describes weight-loss surgery procedures and their effects on cardiovascular risk factors.

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Figure 1: Restrictive weight-loss surgery procedures.
Figure 2: Malabsorptive bariatric procedure.


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We thank Rita Buckley for medical writing and editing services.

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Correspondence to George L Blackburn.

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Blackburn, G., Mun, E. Therapy Insight: weight-loss surgery and major cardiovascular risk factors. Nat Rev Cardiol 2, 585–591 (2005).

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