Studies over the last few years have shown several key health benefits that sleeve gastrectomy and weight loss surgery in general can offer obese patients. A more recent study conducted by Italian scientists and published in the Journal of Surgical Research entitled “Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy effects on overactive bladder symptoms” revealed that obese patients with an overactive bladder are more prone to detect notable improvements in their symptoms if they successfully lose weight through laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.
A sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical procedure to help obese patients lose weight that permanently reduces the size of the stomach to 25 percent of its original size. The greater curvature of the stomach is surgically removed, which results in a “sleeve” or tube-like structure. While the procedure is permanent, later in life the stomach can dilate.
The study authors note that morbidly obese patients often experience lower urinary tract symptoms. While this is an often reported issue, previous studies on the impact of obesity on the unitary tract have focused on urinary incontinence, but not specifically on symptoms related to overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome. As a result, the researchers decided to explore the use of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) in improving OAB symptoms in morbidly obese patients, since it is regarded as a safe and effective weight loss procedure that is capable of reducing the impact of comorbidities associated with obesity.
The study recruited 120 morbidly obese patients, split evenly among men and women, who were evaluated based on medical history, comorbidity assessment, physical examination, urinalysis and urine culture, renal and pelvic ultrasound, a 3-day voiding diary, and the OAB questionnaire short form. These participants were then submitted to LSG surgery, and the outcomes were assessed 7 days before and 180 days after the procedure was performed. There were also 60 men and 60 women used as study controls, who were currently on an LSG waiting list.
Results of the study confirmed that symptoms of OAB were indeed common in the morbidly obese patient population, and the symptoms affected more women than men. Compared to the untreated patients in the study, those who received LSG observed an improvement in OAB symptoms as well as significantly reduced body mass index 180 days after the surgery.
Weight loss surgery such as sleeve gastrectomy continues to gain in popularity as a trusted and effective means of helping morbidly obese people lose weight quickly and safely. However, studies like these continue to reinforce the notion that surgery can not only assist in weight loss, but also in addressing comorbidities associated with obesity.