Thursday, September 10, 2009

Swine Flu and WLS...A Perspective

Thanks to Bri at Fat Lot of Good for a great collection of news stories highlighting the dangers of Weight Loss Surgery.

An interesting comparison sprung to mind and put things in perspective. Most of the articles quote the statistic that 1 in 50 patients die within three months of weight loss surgery. That's a 2% initial mortality rate. (the number who die from complications of the surgery within 5 years is much higher, and within their lifetime is even higher than that).

2% mortality rate. Within three months.

The CFR (Case Fatality Ratio) for the current strain of Swine Flu is estimated between 0.3 to 1.8% based on all the numbers I could find quoted in news articles and abstracts of study findings. That's of course just based on the death rate of people who have been infected, not the chance of the average person dying from it. Just as the WLS number is based on people who actually had the surgery.

In other words, just based on your chances of dying, it is safer to play tonsil hockey with someone hacking up Swine flu lung biscuits than it is to have Weight Loss Surgery.

Why is one a source of panic, and the other "for our own good"?


Piffle said...

Actually, I bet there are a lot more people who got swine flu without a diagnosis, making that number even smaller. For instance, I think my family had it this Spring, but not badly enough to go to a doctor and get tested or treated so we wouldn't show up. Whereas the number for WLS has to be more accurate because you have to have a hospital and doctors involved, it's not an at-home DIY sort of thing.

Leianne said...

Yes. Perspective. This really drove it home for me. I can't wait to give these statistics to a certain someone who recommended WLS for me "for my own good" and to "make life easier".

Alix said...

Swine Flu lung biscuits!!!

You know, there was a time when I seriously considered WLS, but am thanking my lucky stars and doing the happy dance that I DISconsidered it. There is so much wrong with traumatizing your body and risking your life for surgical weight loss.

We may not agree on everything, JoGeek, but I enjoy and respect your perspective always. You are doing a wonderful thing and teach me a lot. Thanks for that.

Maven said...

I love love love the swine flue lung biscuit imagery right there!

I, myself, have been considering WLS for the last few years, haven't made the leap yet.

Love your blog, love your perspective, and I've already slapped your blog on my sidepanel.