Weight-loss surgery has the obvious benefit of helping obese patients shed excess pounds, but does it also offer hormonal benefits? A recent unpublished study has revealed that bariatric surgery, also known as weight-loss surgery, offers a variety of hormonal benefits to premenopausal women. These include more regular periods, as well as better skin and hair.
“Obesity is a huge problem in the United States,” study author Chandhana Paka told HealthDay reporter Mary Brophy Marcus. “We wanted to see if bariatric surgery was a solution to helping restore menstruation in morbidly obese women whose periods have become irregular or disappeared.”
The study, which monitored hundred and 26 women undergoing weight-loss surgery, took place in 2008 and 2009. The surgery, which involves reducing the size of the stomach, helps patients to eat less food and lose weight gradually.
The participants ranged from 18 to 49 years old with an average BMI of 46: well above the minimum for morbid obesity. Roughly half of the participants experienced irregular or no periods.
Twelve months after their surgeries, the participants now had an average BMI of 33, which is still within the range considered to be obese. Ninety-nine percent of the women who had experienced irregular periods were now having them regularly, while more than 80 percent who had no periods now had restored periods. Many of the participants also reported reductions in:
- excess hair growth
- hair loss
- darkened skin folds
These results aren’t surprising, according to Dr. Thomas Price, an associate professor of reproductive endocrinology and fertility at Duke University Medical Center. “All of the results are easily explainable by the hormone changes associated with weight loss,” he told HealthDay. If this study is successfully published in a peer-reviewed journal, hormonal benefits may be yet another reason to have weight-loss surgery.
Patients who receive bariatric surgery often require plastic surgery in order to remove excess skin that was stretched while they were overweight. These types of body contouring procedures include tummy tuck surgery, upper arm lift, thigh lift, and the buttock lift. Liposuction is also sometimes used to tighten up areas that failed to respond to the overall weight loss.