Improving Quality of Life after Bariatric Surgery

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 12, 2016

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After bariatric surgery, our patients report that they are able to move more easily, have increased energy, experience less aches and pains, and sleep better.

Today’s post is written by Laura Andromalos, MS, RD, LDN, Bariatric Nutrition Manager and Senior Clinical Bariatric Dietitian, Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, is about much more than weight loss. In fact, it’s often called metabolic and bariatric surgery because it can lead to an improvement in many health conditions. Diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and sleep apnea may improve after metabolic and bariatric surgery. Many patients see improvements in their health before they begin to lose weight.

If your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 40 or greater than 35 and you have weight-related conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery. It’s important to emphasize that bariatric and metabolic surgery is not a quick fix. It requires preparation and a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle.  The Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital comprises a team of experts that can support you throughout your journey.

Bariatric and metabolic surgery also can lead to significant improvements in the quality of patients’ lives. After surgery, our patients report that they are able to move more easily, have increased energy, experience reductions in bodily aches and pains, and sleep better. These improvements enable our patients to enjoy their lives more fully. They are able to try new activities, such as dance, take long walks, travel with their families, or perform activities of daily living without becoming winded.

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Testosterone Therapy’s Effect on the Heart and Quality of Life

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 3, 2015

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Taking testosterone may not improve men’s sexual function or quality of life.

Recent Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) research has found that testosterone use among men doesn’t appear to increase their risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), a condition that can lead to severe cardiovascular diseases. The same study, however, also found that these same men failed to realize the quality of life benefits that are often the primary goals of testosterone therapy.

Testosterone, a hormone primarily secreted by the testicles, plays a key role not only in male reproductive tissues, but also in muscle growth, bone mass, and metabolism. As men get older, their testosterone levels naturally decline – an average of one percent a year after age 40. In an attempt to counter this natural decline, an increasing number of men over the past decade have turned to testosterone therapy.

Although previous studies aimed at examining rates of adverse cardiovascular events in men taking testosterone have produced conflicting results, concerns remain that testosterone therapy might increase a person’s risk of a heart attack or stroke. BWH investigators developed the Testosterone’s Effects on Atherosclerosis Progression in Aging Men (TEAAM) trial to explore whether there is link between testosterone use and atherosclerosis, a critical risk factor for heart attack and stroke. The three-year study found that administering testosterone to older men (over 60) with low to low normal testosterone levels had no effect on the progression of hardening of the arteries, but also did not significantly improve sexual function or health-related quality of life.

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Conversations that Matter: Living Life to the Fullest as Long as Possible

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 20, 2015

Atul Gawande, MD, MPH

There were a lot of subjects that Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, learned about in medical school, but mortality wasn’t one of them.

“My professors, fellow students, and I thought we wanted to learn about how the human body works, how it goes wrong, and ways we can fix it,” said Dr. Gawande during a recent lecture at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). Dr. Gawande is a renowned BWH surgeon, writer, researcher, and executive director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation at BWH and the Harvard School of Public Health.

After caring for patients nearing the end of their lives and contending with health problems that couldn’t be solved, Dr. Gawande felt he didn’t fully understand how to be helpful in these situations. Wanting to learn more, he set out to interview patients, family members, physicians, home health aides, and others from BWH and across the country about what matters in the end.

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