Weight-Loss Surgery Tied to Lower Risk of Kidney Disease

Weight-Loss Surgery Tied to Lower Risk of Kidney Disease

A new study gives yet further credence to the medical benefits of bariatric surgery. Titled “Incidence of end-stage renal disease following bariatric surgery in the Swedish Obese Subjects Study,” it was published in February 2018 in the International Journal of Obesity.

The study found that those who underwent bariatric surgery had a markedly lower risk of developing severe chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. Among the many health consequences of obesity, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, is the high risk of chronic kidney disease. The kidneys filter and clean waste products from the blood. Kidney (or renal) failure occurs when the kidneys stop working.

The study included over 4,000 Swedish patients between the ages of 37 and 60, and followed them for over 20 years. The surgery group underwent the following procedures:

The control group received conventional non-surgical obesity care provided by primary care physicians.

The goal of the study was to reveal the incidence of advanced chronic kidney disease in the patients studied. The results showed that those who had undergone weight-loss surgery had a significantly lower risk of kidney disease compared with the non-surgical, conventionally treated subjects.

Those who had kidney damage (indicated by high levels of protein in the urine, also called proteinuria) at the beginning of the study benefited the most from surgery, which indicates that weight-loss surgery prevents already-present kidney disease from progressing to renal failure.

According to Dr. Ashutosh Kaul of Advanced Surgeons, “This study further supports growing medical literature showing that bariatric surgery can prevent further decline in renal function by reducing loss of proteins in urine and improving renal functions in obese people with impaired renal function. Some other studies have shown that bariatric surgery may also reverse chronic kidney disease and even delay end-stage renal disease. Hence, bariatric surgery is not only an effective treatment achieving durable and sustained weight loss but is associated with impressive improvements in other associated health problems like hypertension, diabetes and sleep apnea.”

Overweight and obesity are directly related to an increased risk of developing diabetes or high blood pressure, both of which are the leading causes of kidney disease. It stands to reason that there is a steadily growing increase in these conditions, as it is estimated that over 2.2 billion people worldwide are categorized as obese, and 160 million of them live in the U.S.

 In addition to kidney failure, obesity predisposes a person to a gamut of conditions and diseases. These include but are not limited to:

  • Breathing problems, such as asthma and sleep apnea
  • Diabetes
  • Gallstones and gallbladder disease
  • Gout
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Mental illness (e.g., depression, anxiety)
  • Some types of cancer (breast, colon, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, liver)
  • Stroke

At Advanced Surgeons, we are your experts in general and weight-loss surgery. Regardless of which weight-loss procedure you choose among those performed at Advanced Surgeons, 99 percent of them are performed laparoscopically through keyhole-sized incisions, resulting in less pain and quicker recovery.