Gastric-Bypass Surgery for Seniors

Feb. 21, 2005 — Gastric bypass surgery is just as helpful to obese people 60 years and older as it is to younger ones, according to a study published in the Archives of Surgery.

Doctors often don’t offer the weight-loss surgery to people over 60, thinking it won’t help or might not be safe. But researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., compared a group of older and younger obese patients.

They found that younger patients did lose a bit more weight, perhaps because it’s easier for them to exercise. But older patients kept off weight, too. And they were more likely than younger patients to report other benefits: They reduced the number of medications they use, and fewer of them needed a breathing device at night for sleep apnea.

The researchers say that as older people live longer and better lives, they should have the same access to gastric bypass surgery as younger patients. — Joseph Shapiro¬† (