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Obesity, Bariatric Surgery, and the Health of Your Heart

Published on November 22, 2017

The heart is a muscular organ, and when it is forced to work hard, its muscles grow larger like the other muscles in your body do when you work them out. However, having large heart muscles doesn’t mean that your heart is stronger; in fact, it can actually make it more difficult for the heart to function properly.

Overweight individuals typically have a large portion of their excess body weight concentrated in their midsections. According to the American College of Surgeons, having a large amount of excess body fat in your stomach can cause a number of unhealthy changes to the size and function of your heart. A study was performed to analyze the differences between the heart size and shape of an obese individual and a person who has undergone bariatric surgery. It also analyzed how the changes produced by bariatric surgery affected the heart’s functionality.

A group of 51 obese men and women who received bariatric surgery between 2010 and 2015 were studied. The BMI and age of the patient were key factors of the study. The average BMI of the 51 patients studied was 40, and the average age of the group was 61. Researchers compared the pre-operative and post-operative shape, size, and function of the heart using echocardiography readings.

After just one year, researchers found that bariatric surgery led to major improvements in the heart health of the patients. Roughly half of the 51 patients had hearts that had returned to their natural shape and size. The function of the heart also saw significant improvements, which decreased the patients’ risk of experiencing heart failure due to obesity.

At Western Surgical Bariatric Center, we can provide you with the surgical care you need to overcome your obesity so that you can live a longer and healthier life. If you are struggling with your body weight and would like to know if you are a good candidate for bariatric surgery, contact our office to schedule a consultation with fellowship-trained bariatric surgeon Dr. John Weaver.