Medical experts say, citing results of various studies, that weight loss has long been recognized as one of the most effective methods in managing stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Being aware of this, women have made it their goals to lose those unwanted pounds. Selecting the best method in achieving this goal- whether it be through weight loss surgery or lifestyle changes – has posed a problem to a number of women.
Both pathways have been found to be effective, although a bigger improvement was noted with bariatric surgery, according to the results of a very recent study which was presented during the 2013 annual scientific meeting of the Obesity Society. Although there might be a difference in the degree of improvement, a medical specialist maintains that there is no need for a surgical intervention if a patient is doing quite well with conservative means.
Led by Ms. Bobbi Paull-Fourney of the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita, Kansas, a team of researchers carried out a study using 2,611 participants to determine the best weight loss strategy by comparing a medical program consisting of diet, exercise, and lifestyle modifications with that of weight loss surgery. A total of 557 subjects from this number underwent gastric bypass surgery while the rest of the group was asked to observe a low-calorie diet and an intensive behavior-modification program.
A drop of 36.5 pounds after six months was experienced by the group who followed the medical treatment program while 49.7 pounds were reduced by those who had weight loss surgeries. Follow-up after one year showed that the mean weight of those who had bariatric surgery continued to drop by as much as 40 pounds while those in the medical program maintained the mean weight.
With an overall decrease of over 35 percent after one year, there may be no doubt that weight loss surgery may come out as the more effective method in losing those unwanted pounds. However, the weight loss of almost 20 percent by those in the medical management group cannot be dismissed. This is a substantial decrease which medical experts believe may translate to significant improvements in medical conditions including pelvic floor disorders.
With these favorable outcomes, experts insist that conservative methods must first be maximized before even considering weight loss surgery. This is actually one condition set by health authorities before one can avail of the surgical option. In all probability, this loss of weight may bring down a woman’s BMI to below 30 kg/m2, making her ineligible for a weight loss surgery.
These findings are certainly encouraging to all women suffering from medical conditions including the very common SUI and pelvic organ prolapse (POP). This may mean the elimination of risks associated with surgical options to repair these conditions, particularly vaginal mesh surgeries, which have allegedly caused serious injuries to thousands of women. Vaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed against various mesh manufacturers as a result of these injuries. Resolution of claims heard this year had been favorable to the complainants that plaintiffs right now are optimistic of a favorable decision in an upcoming Bard vaginal mesh bellwether trial.