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Weight loss surgery: ‘Not everyone lives happily ever After’

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The American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery state that the number of weight loss surgeries in the US increased from 13,000 in 1998 to over 200,000 in 2008. Reasons for undergoing weight loss surgery can range from health needs to the desire for a confidence boost. But new research suggests that although the surgery may make people happy in some ways, it can also cause problems.

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Karen Synne Groven, of the University of Oslo in Norway, interviewed 22 women aged between 24 and 54 years as a part of her doctoral thesis.

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All women had undergone gastric bypass surgery – one of the most common bariatric surgery procedures. It involves rerouting a part of the small intestine past the stomach in order to reduce food intake, promote satiety and suppress hunger.

The majority of the women were interviewed twice. The first time was 1 year after surgery, while the second interview took place 2.5-4 years following surgery.

Groven says although most previous research suggests that weight loss surgery leads to an increase in quality of life for the majority of patients, her findings suggest that not everyone lives happily ever after following bariatric procedures.

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