Another Growth Industry by Pat Conrad MD

So who knew that Krispy Kreme’s would be a big hit in Sweden? (trick question: Krispy Kreme doughnuts are a hit everywhere with everyone, me included).

Two complimentary studies in the U.S. and Sweden show long-term weight reduction from gastric bypass surgery in teenagers, with cohorts of 58 and 81, respectively. Most of the subjects had reductions in their blood pressure and cholesterol, and the incidence of diabetes was reduced.

“Yet most of the patients remained at least ‘very obese’, and only one stabilized at a normal weight.”

The Swedish study celebrates their post-surgical kids losing an average of 28%, compared to negligible reductions in obese non-surgical controls.

“Negative side effects, including vitamin deficiencies and the need in some cases for follow-up surgery, were minor compared to health gains, scientists reported in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, a medical journal.”

From “Until now, it has been unclear how successful the surgery is in the long-term and whether it can lead to complications. Despite this thousands of teenagers are offered the surgical treatment each year.”

Thousands?? Who is paying for this? What about the underlying psychosocial pathologies that resulted in these morbid obesities? What long-term costs are these post-ops going to incur with recurrent anemia, vitamin deficiencies, ER visits for recurrent pancreatitis or chronic abdominal pain, not to mention the real and intangible costs of undiagnosed depression, anxiety, and extended periods of newly-permitted sedentary living?

I have never seen a patient who actually became healthier – even with weight loss – as a result of this procedure. If its popular acceptability for minors is really on the rise, then that is a depressing piece of news. As a wise colleague remarked to me some years ago about this non-fix, “You are taking the one organ system shown to be functioning properly, and screwing it up.”

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  3 comments for “Another Growth Industry by Pat Conrad MD

  1. John Kelly, MD
    January 21, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Everybody points to the short-term success. That you haven’t dealt with the relationship to food and the pervasive predatory industry of high fructose corn syrup food pushed everywhere. I”M LOVIN’ IT!!! The industry knows that having sugar in everything makes the stomach empty faster and open the way for more of their products. I was amazed that Harvard research wasn’t above that good-good sugar industry money to point at cholesterol and away from sugar. How can we trust any research? What is real? Presently there’s no way to tell if dozens of drug trials were unimpressive because we’re fed the ones which sell the drug and the others are hidden from us, never to see the light of day. Hey, but this is corrective surgery, right? So you take an obese patient, filet them open and re-plumb their GI system like some modern Frankenstein, so supposedly they can continue to binge eat and just not absorb the calories. You leave most with a pannus they have to swing around with them which of course insurance calls a “cosmetic” (read, uncovered) problem unless you catch some high school grad sleeping at her PC and slip surgery past ’em because of chronic intertriginous candidiasis, or call it cellulitis to strain the point, but most still say no. Hey, this isn’t for the patients, weirdo! This is for investors! So we leave them looking like some deflated party balloon. No wonder they get fat again. I’ve never seen much long-term gain, and lots of malabsorbive anemia that requires IV iron. As an old bariatric patient, I think you probably dies earlier. Anyone know that statistic? At least the Roux en-Y has dropped out of favor for the sleeve procedure, but that stomach stretches out again.

  2. HJR
    January 16, 2017 at 1:57 am

    First, do no harm.

    Why can’t they simply eat less on their own? Why do we have to cut them open and remove a portion of their stomach/intestines to get them to just eat less? Just don’t put it in your fxxking mouth and you won’t need an operation that will change you irreversibly. That’s why we should all insist on Slap Chef for our patients –

    • Doug Farrago
      January 16, 2017 at 6:05 am

      Now that was a funny bit

Comments are closed.