Does Bariatric Surgery Increase Kidney Stone Risk?

Bariatric surgery has been proven to have incredibly positive effects on those who struggle with obesity. Providing a safe, effective way to shed pounds while helping treat comorbidities, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, these procedures are performed in the thousands worldwide each year. While considered as safe as other surgical procedures, some fear bariatric operations may increase their likelihood of developing kidney stones. A number of studies have produced conflicting results in answering this question.

The most recent study conducted in America supports the assertion that kidney stone risk can rise with bariatric surgery. The increase in likelihood, however, was minimal. Since obesity itself is a risk factor for the development of kidney stones, patients may find they are at elevated risk either way. Not addressing obesity, however, can leave people at-risk for a number of conditions that are considered much more serious than kidney stones.

People who are considered obese, which means having a body mass index of 35 or higher, are at elevated risk for a wide variety of related medical conditions. Complications from obesity include increase risk of developing some forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and others. Taking action to lose weight through lifestyle interventions or bariatric surgery can dramatically lower risks for medical complications. Bariatric surgery has also been linked to a reversal of symptoms in some type 2 diabetics and better control over the disease in others.

Obesity has reached an epidemic proportion in the United States. It is estimated about a third of the population is considered obese. If weight is a personal concern, it is important to speak directly with a healthcare provider. The best recommendations for getting weight into a healthy range and being able to keep it off will come from a doctor with access to information about your unique case.

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