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BASE Study

BASE Study to examine bariatric patient experience

In 2014, there were 889 bariatric surgeries performed in New Zealand

A New Zealand study is assessing the bariatric surgery the surgical experience from the patient’s point of view, and examine how it has affected their life, the challenges they faced, and what could have been improved both before and after surgery to make it easier. The Bariatric Surgery Experienced study (BASE), will be headed by Sara Lake, a Massey University Master of Science in Human Nutrition student.

In 2014, there were 889 bariatric surgeries performed in New Zealand. In the same year, the government earmarked US$10 million for at least 480 bariatric surgeries over the following four years. Despite the predicted increase in surgeries, little research has been done on the impacts of these invasive, but potentially life-saving procedures.

Sarah Lake (Credit: Massey University Master of Science)

“Even before they have been approved for surgery, patients must undertake a dramatic change in lifestyle,” said Lake. “They must adhere to a prescribed diet, take supplements and stick to an exercise plan for the rest of their life, as well as dealing with the many social changes that occur when you lose a large amount of weight. Failure to cope with these sustained changes can lead to future health problems or even weight regain.”

Lake, who works in regulatory compliance within the food and supplement industry, explained that the chance of a person with morbid obesity losing weight permanently using diet and exercise alone is very low.

“If someone has tried repeatedly to lose weight, there is a high possibility that bariatric surgery will help them finally succeed. The surgery may also be their best opportunity to avoid or resolve the life-threatening co-morbidities of obesity which include cardiovascular disease, diabetes and arthritis,” she added.

The study is recruiting women over 18-years-old who are preparing to undergo or have recently undergone either sleeve gastrectomy or Roux-en Y gastric bypass surgery. Participants can be based anywhere in New Zealand.

Click here for more information about the BASE study.

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