Testosterone levels were found to be normal after laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery in obese men. Dr. John Morton from Stanford University School of Medicine in California said, “This surgical solution to weight loss offers more than one benefit. If you are an obese man and you have low testosterone, before you think of testosterone replacement, you should consider surgery.”
Low levels of testosterone can impair sexual function and impede on everyday life, contributing to muscle weakness and fatigue.
The research team examined the testosterone levels of 58 obese men prior to and after laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery – reducing the size of the stomach. Prior to surgery, nearly half the men had low levels of testosterone – a reading below 300 ng/ml. Researchers found that after the procedure testosterone levels rose in all participants.
After a 12-month period a follow-up was conducted, which revealed testosterone levels were in normal range.
Dr. Morton added, “Currently, only 20 percent of patients undergoing weight-loss surgery are men. We need to get more obese men onto the operating table and away from the dining table.” After the 12 months was over he said, “Surgical weight loss seems to increase the proportion of men with normal testosterone levels.” However, he concluded, “It is too early to say that low testosterone is a standalone indication for laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.”
A high body mass index (BMI) is associated with lower testosterone levels. 21 percent of the patients did not see normalization of their testosterone levels, but they also had slightly higher BMIs compared to the participants whose testosterone normalized. The researchers want to further examine the link between BMI and low testosterone.
Patients were also tested for prostate-specific antigens (PSA) and PSA mass. After one year PSA levels rose 45 percent but PSA mass remained constant. This led the researchers to suggest that obese men require different PSA screening.