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Bariatric Surgery Tied to Lasting, Clinically Important Improvements in Pain


FRIDAY, Sept. 23, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Bariatric surgery is commonly associated with long-term clinically important improvements (CII) in pain and physical function among severely obese patients, according to a study published online Sept. 14 in JAMA Network Open.

Wendy C. King, Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues evaluated the durability of improvements in pain and physical function through seven years after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy. The analysis included 1,491 adults with severe obesity undergoing bariatric surgery (2006 to 2009) at one of 10 U.S. hospitals.

The researchers found that between three and seven years after surgery, the percentage of participants with preoperative-to-postoperative CII in bodily pain decreased from 50 to 43 percent, the percentage with CII in physical function decreased from 75 to 64 percent, and the percentage with CII in 400-m walk time decreased from 61 to 50 percent. Remission decreased from 50 to 41 percent among participants with a preoperative mobility deficit. Among participants with severe knee or hip pain or disability, the percentage with CII in knee and hip pain and function decreased (hip pain: 77 to 65 percent; knee function: from 77 to 72 percent).

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“Initial preoperative-to-postoperative improvements in pain and physical function decreased over longer-term follow-up through seven years,” the authors write. “Nevertheless, at the seven-year assessment, 41 percent to 64 percent experienced preoperative-to-postoperative CII in perceived bodily pain and physical function.”

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