Using our mobile app? Be sure to check for any new app updates to receive any enhancements.

Get Healthy!

Weight-Loss Surgery Could Be Lifesaver for Folks Needing New Kidneys
  • Posted March 13, 2024

Weight-Loss Surgery Could Be Lifesaver for Folks Needing New Kidneys

Weight-loss surgery may help patients struggling with obesity and kidney failure become eligible for a lifesaving transplant, researchers report.

Obesity is a key reason why some kidney patients are turned down for a transplant.

But weight-loss surgery "not only helps in reducing the patients' weight to a level where they can safely receive a transplant, but also addresses the broader issue of health care disparities, particularly affecting Black and lower-income individuals," said corresponding author Dr. Anil Paramesh. He directs kidney and pancreas transplant programs at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

Paramesh was part of a study jointly led by specialists in weight-loss and transplant surgery. It followed 183 patients with end-stage kidney disease from January 2019 to June 2023.

Thirty-six underwent weight-loss surgery and 10 then received kidney transplants. 

On average, patients who had both procedures had a 27% reduction in body mass index (an estimate of body fat based on height and weight) when they got their transplant. They also had better control of their high blood pressure and diabetes.

With these gains, transplant prospects were significantly better.

The findings were published March 12 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

"We've seen that bariatric surgery is not just about weight loss; it significantly improves other serious conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea," Paramesh said in an American College of Surgeons news release. 

While the program offered a path forward for patients who would otherwise have been deemed ineligible for a transplant, Paramesh noted the program had a high drop-off rate. Some patients were unable to undergo surgery, others were unwilling to do so. 

In addition, some had complications such as low blood pressure after their weight-loss surgery.

"Our findings indicate a pressing need to enhance patient education and support, making sure that potential candidates understand the benefits of weight-loss surgery and its role in improving their eligibility for transplant," Paramesh said.

More information

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about the benefits of weight-loss surgery.

SOURCE: American College of Surgeons, news release, March 12, 2024

Health News is provided as a service to The Medicine Shoppe | Ridgway site users by HealthDay. The Medicine Shoppe | Ridgway nor its employees, agents, or contractors, review, control, or take responsibility for the content of these articles. Please seek medical advice directly from your pharmacist or physician.
Copyright © 2024 HealthDay All Rights Reserved.