Undergoing weight loss surgery may have a negative effect – increased risk of bone fractures. The findings recently published by researchers in Sweden in the Journal of Internal Medicine.
The study involved 2,007 obese Swedish patients who underwent weight loss surgery. The type of surgery included gastric bypass (to make the stomach smaller), gastric banding (tying the stomach to decrease stomach size) and vertical banded gastroplasty (also known as stomach stapling). There was a matching group of 2,040 patients who did not have the weight loss surgery.
There was a patient follow up over a median of 15 and 18 years. The researchers found that the gastric bypass group has the highest rate of bone fractures at 22.9 per 1,000 person-years. The rate for bone fractures in vertical banded gastroplasty group was 10.4 per 1,000 person-years. The gastric banding group’s rate was 10.7 and the control group was 9.3 per 1,000 person-years.
In other words, for the gastric bypass group, 229 people experienced a fracture per 10,000 people over one year. By the same token, the rate would be 104, 107, and 93 for the vertical banded gastroplasty, gastric banding and control groups, respectively.
Thus, people who had the gastric bypass surgery was 2.58-times more likely to have a fracture than the control group, 1.99-times more likely than the gastric banding group, and 2.15-times more likely than the vertical banded gastroplasty group.
“Our results show that gastric bypass surgery increases the long-term risk of fracture, both compared with non-surgical obesity care and compared two other bariatric surgery methods used in our study,” said lead author Sofie Ahlin, in their press release.
“Increased risk of fracture is a serious side effect that should be taken into account when selecting surgical procedures and it should also be kept in mind during post-operative follow-up in patients who have undergone gastric bypass,” she said.