By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Bariatric surgery is the way doctors describe surgical procedures that are designed to help people battling obesity lose weight. The theory is that a procedure like a gastric bypass is safer than years of uncontrolled weight gain which can affect the blood sugar and blood pressure increasing the risk for a wide variety of problems.

According to a study from Sweden, among obese individuals having bariatric surgery was associated with a reduced long-term incidence of cardiovascular deaths and events such as heart attack and stroke.

But this is where it gets very interesting. What they found is that there was a definite advantage immediately after surgery but months down the road there needs to be more information about the effects of greater weight loss and long term maintenance and better control of body weight.

The real take home message is that the surgery has been shown to be helpful in those who have failed numerous other non-surgical options but there still needs to be attempts made to eat a healthier diet.—

Weight loss alone is not the only risk for cardiovascular disease. A healthy diet is crucial.

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