heart-cross-sectionAccording to HealthDay News, weight loss surgery is now linked with the prevention of atrial fibrillation, a dangerous heart rhythm disorder marked by an irregular heartbeat that affects over 2.7 million adults in the United States. Studies performed by the Mayo Clinic confirm a reduced incidence of atrial fibrillation in patients who have undergone bariatric surgery when compared with those who have not experienced surgery.

Prior research has already demonstrated that bariatric surgery improves and even resolves co-morbid conditions, including Type-2 Diabetes, some types of heart disease, and high blood pressure. Based on this data, researchers have now performed studies on the long-term effects, including heart conditions like atrial fibrillation. Even before the results were in, many scientists had already come to the logical conclusion that surgery would create positive results for heart-related conditions.

The study, which was conducted by Dr. Yong-Mei Cha and colleagues, recently presented the results at the Heart Rhythm Society’s annual conference in San Francisco, sharing results that are considered to be preliminary and have not been peer-reviewed.

The Data

438 patients participated in the study, each with a BMI of 40 or higher. Approximately three-quarters of them chose to undergo the procedure. Researchers reviewed the incidence of atrial fibrillation in both the surgical and non-surgical groups and discovered that only 6 percent of the surgical patients developed an abnormal heartbeat over the next seven years, while 16 percent of the nonsurgical patients developed the issue.

According to the director of heart rhythm services at Intermountain Heart Institute in Murray, Utah, the population with the highest incidence of atrial fibrillation is located in North America, largely due to the obesity epidemic. Effective weight reduction can reverse the effects of atrial fibrillation by over 50 percent, a boon for those looking to undergo weight loss surgery to help them manage their weight challenges. Because atrial fibrillation is a reversible condition, patients find great hope in the idea that the surgical procedure they choose to help them overcome obesity can also reduce and even eliminate heart-related conditions.

Types of Bariatric Surgeries

Since weight reduction is the key to decreased heart issues, the choice of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, vertical sleeve gastrectomy, or adjustable gastric banding is up to the patient and his or her surgeon. At WeightWise, patients consult with their surgeon, as well as a patient advocate and support staff, including registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, and a psychologist, all to decide which procedure will best support their overall health and wellness goals.

More and more good news about weight loss surgery has arisen from recent studies, confirming what we’ve seen in our office for years: that weight loss surgery helps heal the whole person by reducing weight and enabling each patient to take control of his or her health.