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Media Contact: Lance Skelly 18 October 2004
  lance.skelly@emory.edu    
  (404) 686-8538 ((40) 4) -686-8538   Print  | Email ]
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Post-Surgery Symptoms in Weight Loss Patients May Be Connected to Ulcer-Causing Bacteria
Helicobacter pylori (H pylori), a bacteria found in the stomach that is the most common cause of gastric ulcers, was found in 24 percent of patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery. These patients also experienced a higher incidence of early foregut symptoms such as nausea, pain and bloating, according to Emory researchers.

C. Daniel Smith, MD, professor of surgery and chief of the Division of General and GI Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, co-authored the study which followed 99 bariatric patients (16 men and 83 women; average age 40 years; average BMI, 48) at Emory University Hospital and Emory Crawford Long Hospital between September, 2001, and September, 2002. Seventy-six patients underwent weight loss surgery during this period, including laparoscopic (67) and open gastric bypass (9). Results of the study appear in the October 18 edition of the Archives of Surgery.

"Many patients initially experience intestinal symptoms following weight-loss surgery, such as nausea, bloating, gastric pain, food intolerance and food fear," said Dr. Smith. "The study shows that patients experiencing these symptoms may have the bacteria called H. Pylori in their stomach and treatment of this bacteria may resolve their symptoms."

Twenty-four percent of the patients in the study tested positive for H pylori before their surgery. Patients underwent routine postoperative assessments at one, two, six and 12 month visits. Forty-eight percent of the H pylori positive group experienced significant intestinal symptoms, while 19 percent of the negative group experienced symptoms. Patients who tested positive were given a two-week course of treatment for the bacteria and were monitored until the symptoms were relieved.

The higher incidence of post surgery intestinal symptoms remained constant despite controlling for age, sex, type of surgery, body mass index and other causes for stomach irritation.

"As obesity levels continue to rise, the demand for weight-loss surgery is continuing to increase," said Dr. Smith, who noted that an estimated 100,000 procedures were performed in the US in 2003. "We need to look at all of the risks associated with weight-loss surgery and ways to treat them."

Co-authors of the study are Emory faculty Edward Lin, DO, Bruce J. Ramshaw, MD, and former Emory fellow Archana Ramaswamy, MD.

Media Contact: Lance Skelly 18 October 2004
  lskelly@emory.edu    
  (404) 686-8538   Print  | Email ]
Share:

del.icio.us

Post-Surgery Symptoms in Weight Loss Patients May Be Connected to Ulcer-Causing Bacteria
Helicobacter pylori (H pylori), a bacteria found in the stomach that is the most common cause of gastric ulcers, was found in 24 percent of patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery. These patients also experienced a higher incidence of early foregut symptoms such as nausea, pain and bloating, according to Emory researchers.

C. Daniel Smith, MD, professor of surgery and chief of the Division of General and GI Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, co-authored the study which followed 99 bariatric patients (16 men and 83 women; average age 40 years; average BMI, 48) at Emory University Hospital and Emory Crawford Long Hospital between September, 2001, and September, 2002. Seventy-six patients underwent weight loss surgery during this period, including laparoscopic (67) and open gastric bypass (9). Results of the study appear in the October 18 edition of the Archives of Surgery.

"Many patients initially experience intestinal symptoms following weight-loss surgery, such as nausea, bloating, gastric pain, food intolerance and food fear," said Dr. Smith. "The study shows that patients experiencing these symptoms may have the bacteria called H. Pylori in their stomach and treatment of this bacteria may resolve their symptoms."

Twenty-four percent of the patients in the study tested positive for H pylori before their surgery. Patients underwent routine postoperative assessments at one, two, six and 12 month visits. Forty-eight percent of the H pylori positive group experienced significant intestinal symptoms, while 19 percent of the negative group experienced symptoms. Patients who tested positive were given a two-week course of treatment for the bacteria and were monitored until the symptoms were relieved.

The higher incidence of post surgery intestinal symptoms remained constant despite controlling for age, sex, type of surgery, body mass index and other causes for stomach irritation.

"As obesity levels continue to rise, the demand for weight-loss surgery is continuing to increase," said Dr. Smith, who noted that an estimated 100,000 procedures were performed in the US in 2003. "We need to look at all of the risks associated with weight-loss surgery and ways to treat them."

Co-authors of the study are Emory faculty Edward Lin, DO, Bruce J. Ramshaw, MD, and former Emory fellow Archana Ramaswamy, MD.



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