This Article is About
obesity
nerve fibers
weight loss surgeries
weight loss surgery
peptic ulcers
nerve damage
s hospital
brigham and women
Could Nerve Changing Surgeries Help Win The War Against Obesity In The Near Future?
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Could Nerve Changing Surgeries Help Win the War Against Obesity In the Near Future?

Weight loss surgeries are nothing new. In fact, they have been used by thousands of patients since the early '90s to combat the growing wave of obesity. However, many of the variations of these surgeries have a number of serious risks and side effects and may do nothing to address behavioral and mental issues associated with weight gain. Now researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital are discussing two related weight loss surgery options that may not only have fewer potential side effects but may also help with the mental side of the problem at the same time.

So far, the research, performed with animal subjects only, has shown that the two surgery options, vagal de-afferentation and vagatomy may be able to help subjects drop large amounts of total body fat but may also address the centrally located abdominal fat which is more difficult to lose as well as more dangerous from a health standpoint. Weight that is focused in the midsection is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes and other conditions.

A vagatomy completely removes the vagus nerve which was once used as a therapy for peptic ulcers. It has long since been abandoned for that purpose. When used in addition to the typical gastric banding surgery, patients lose over forty percent of their body weight, however, there is a serious potential for pernicious anemia after the surgery has been completed which can potentially cause nerve damage and other serious issues.

The vagal de-affrentation procedure does not cut or remove the vagus nerve. Instead, capsaicin, which is what gives certain peppers, hot sauces and other items their heat is used to destroy certain fibers in the nerve's pathway. Those nerve fibers are the ones which carry messages from the gut to the brain without damaging the ones that carry messages in the opposite direction. While this procedure does not have quite the level of success, it is associated with far fewer complications and risks.

Researchers are confident that the surgeries are potentially better weight loss options than gastric bypass. Weight loss patients must learn to change how they view food and deal with their remaining feelings of hunger which is not always addressed in stomach altering surgeries. Those surgeries leave them able to only eat two to three ounces of food at a time- but sometimes wanting much more.

The results of the researcher's work and their findings is being published in the journal, Digestive Diseases and Sciences.


Street Talk

I have a friend who benefited from surgery to loose weight. He was in so bad of shape he was living ina nursing home. He now rides bike every day and is slim and healthy. I am so proud of his achievements!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I have a friend that had gastric bypass two years ago. She is finally able to do all of the things that she has always wanted to do as a young mother. Yayyy for your friend!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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