Weight Loss Surgery and Its impact on High Blood Pressure

High Blood PressureWeight loss surgery and Lap Band Surgery remains one of the most effective and durable ways of improving and/or resolving your high blood pressure.

High blood pressure (hypertension) is twice as common in obese individuals compared to normal individuals. The risk of high blood pressure is significant all by itself. The risk of stroke is dramatically increased with high blood pressure. In combination with atherosclerosis, the risk of stroke may be as high as 75%.

This staggering statistic is what leads doctors to aggressively pursue the management of hypertension. According to a 2004 article from the Journal of the American Medical Association nearly 75% of patients with high blood pressure can have improvement or resolution of their high blood pressure after gastric bypass surgery compared with 35 to 50% of patients with a lap band. (JAMA. 2004 Oct 13;292(14):1724-37).

In an article in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr. Robert Brolin described the effects of gastric bypass surgery specifically on hypertension/high blood pressure (Arch Intern Med. 1994;154:193-200). In the study, 45 patients were evaluated and 91% of these patients were on medications for high blood pressure. They followed the patients up to 39 months and they saw that high blood pressure had resolved or was improved in 54% of the patients at one year. An additional 15% of these patients had significant improvement in their blood pressure. These findings persisted through 48 months (4 years) of follow-up. There was a significant relationship between the percentage of excess weight loss and improvement in hypertension. They concluded that an improvement or resolution of high blood pressure can be seen up to 70% of patients.

When evaluating high blood pressure in the setting of cardiovascular risk, the Swedish Obesity Study concluded that there is still a significant improvement in high blood pressure control even 10 years after weight loss surgery. This also demonstrates the long-lasting benefit of your overall health if one were to pursue surgical weight loss.


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