An estimated 20 million Americans are either diagnosed with liver cirrhosis or have a liver disease that has left them unable to be part of society. A significant number of them could find a benefit in bariatric surgery, which can improve quality of life and lead to reductions in complications and health care costs. To learn more about the topic, research from the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University drew on data from 12,480 adults and identified any joint results. Of these, the study found that bariatric surgery was more effective for treating a severe form of liver disease called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Unlike hepatitis C, people with cirrhosis do not need to be vaccinated or treated with antiviral drugs. Those with NASH can not only suffer liver inflammation and chronic inflammation, but also damage to the endocrinal system, which could lead to organ failure and, eventually, death.
To put the data into perspective, last year the Food and Drug Administration released a study that revealed that liver disease runs as a true epidemic. Many people are unaware that liver disease is prevalent and cause of even more deaths, particularly among those at high risk. For those who seek help, serious side effects can occur if one is not closely monitored, resulting in some patients needing more invasive procedures in order to overcome the complications that can arise after a bariatric procedure. Such complications include sustained low-grade damage to the heart valves, which could turn an otherwise fatal form of liver disease into a life-threatening condition. After NASH, complications like this may lead to death in as little as two years, and without treatment, a major surgery may be necessary.
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