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PRODUCED BY AND FOR MEMBERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY March 2015 | Archived Issues

P & T Approvals, FDA Warnings About Testosterone Products, Treanda, Chantix

Pharmacy Focus

See highlights of the February meeting of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings about prescription testosterone products, Treanda and Chantix.


Mark Your Calendar


Surgery Grand Rounds

Click the "read more" to see information about upcoming Surgery Grand Rounds.


Grand Rounds

Click here to view a schedule of all upcoming grand rounds.


Surgery Scheduling

Click the "read more" for hours and contact information for surgery scheduling.

Share Your News

Know an interesting colleague we should profile? A story we should tell? Submit your ideas, meetings and events for consideration.

Click here to submit your news to Sutures

Impact of Weight-Loss Surgery May Depend on Bacteria

The benefits of weight-loss surgery, along with a treatment plan that includes exercise and dietary changes, are well documented. In addition to a significant decrease in body mass, many patients find their risk factors for heart disease are drastically lowered and blood sugar regulation is improved for those with Type 2 diabetes.

Some patients, however, do not experience the optimal weight loss from bariatric surgery. The presence of a specific methane gas-producing organism in the gastrointestinal tract may account for a decrease in optimal weight loss, according to new research by Ruchi Mathur, MD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Anna and Max Webb and Family Diabetes Outpatient Treatment and Education Center.

"We looked at 156 obese adults who either had Roux-en-Y bypass surgery or received a gastric sleeve. Four months after surgery, we gave them a breath test, which provides a way of measuring gases produced by microbes in the gut," Mathur said. "We found that those whose breath test revealed higher concentrations of both methane and hydrogen were the ones who had the lowest percentage of weight loss and lowest reduction in BMI (body mass index) when compared to others in the study."

The methane-producing microorganism methanobrevibacter smithii is the biggest maker of methane in the gut, Mathur said, and it may be the culprit thwarting significant weight loss in bariatric patients. Mathur and her colleagues are conducting further studies to explore the role this organism plays in human metabolism.

While that research continues, bariatric patients may still have options to improve weight loss after surgery.

"Identifying individuals with this pattern of intestinal gas production may allow for interventions through diet. In the future, there may be therapeutic drugs that can improve a patient's post-surgical course and help them achieve optimal weight loss," Mathur said.

The study, "Intestinal Methane Production is Associated with Decreased Weight Loss Following Bariatric Surgery," was done in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic. Mathur presented the paper this month at the 97th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in San Diego.