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(Source: JAMA 2012.)
Like any other surgical procedure, bariatric surgery too has its share of pros and cons. For people who do not suffer from morbid obesity, the pros of bariatric surgery overshadow its negatives. However, it is important to mentally prepare for this procedure.
Some of the advantages of weight loss surgery are:
Bariatric patients benefit from weight loss success in the long run.
According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), over 90% of severely obese bariatric patients can keep off 50% or more of the excess weight lost, successfully.1
Among the morbidly obese, nearly 80% can keep off more than half of the weight loss in the long run.
Weight loss surgery is not a shortcut to weight loss. It is a lifestyle change that requires constant commitment towards better health and fitness. One needs to stay focused and get through all the weight loss stalls.
Better Health and Resolution of Co-morbidities
If the patient follows the right post-op lifestyle, it can help in the elimination of related co-morbidities.
Some of the health conditions that can be aggravated by obesity but which get resolved through bariatric surgery are:
- Hypertension or High Blood Pressure (HBP)
- Type II Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM)
- Abnormal Cholesterol Levels
- Sleep Apnea
- Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Stress Incontinence
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Studies, as well as the experiences of our clients, have shown that bariatric surgery helps in elimination of some medication.
Reduction in mortality rates after bariatric surgery is a direct outcome of the resolution of the co-morbidities of obesity.2
“My BMI was 31, but I had many comorbidity factors which showed that a low BMI patient could benefit greatly from bariatric surgery. This is why I chose to do it. My health is GREAT now!” – Melonie F. (A Mexico Bariatric Services Client)
According to a study by Stacy A. Brethauer published in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, individuals with a BMI of 45 or more in their 20s have a life expectancy which is shorter by 13 years.
However, there are some observational studies which point out that people who have undergone bariatric surgery have lower mortality rates than individuals who have not had surgery at all.
A study by Christou et al.,3 found that in a group of individuals who had had bariatric surgery, mortality rates dropped by almost 89% over a period of 5 years.
Improved Quality of Life
Post-bariatric patients experience decreased depression and better emotional health. They have an enhanced sense of well-being. They report higher energy levels and lead a more active life.
A 2017 study talks about the “Circle of Discontent” which indicates that there is a negative connotation with weight gain, which leads to emotional eating and this results in uncontrollable weight gain.4
When bariatric patients start losing weight, their self confidence gets a significant boost, and this improves their mental health.
Save Money on Medicines and Food
A higher BMI has been linked to severe health issues. A study by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says that weight loss leads to financial savings as it considerably lowers medical costs.5
The research indicates that a 20-year-old adult who goes from being obese to slightly overweight would save an average of $17,655 in direct medical costs and productivity losses over their lifetime.
- American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. “Benefits of Bariatric Surgery.” https://asmbs.org/patients/benefits-of-bariatric-surgery
- Courcoulas, Anita P. et al. “Long-Term Outcomes of Bariatric Surgery: A National Institutes of Health Symposium.” JAMA surgery 149.12 (2014): 1323–1329. PMC. Web. 2 July 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5570469/
- Christou NV, Sampalis JS, Liberman M, et al. Surgery decreases longterm mortality, morbidity, and health care use in morbidly obese patients. Ann Surg 2004; 240:416–423; discussion 423–424 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1356432/
- Jumbe, Sandra, Claire Hamlet, and Jane Meyrick. “Psychological Aspects of Bariatric Surgery as a Treatment for Obesity.” Current Obesity Reports 6.1 (2017): 71–78. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5359375/
- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health “Weight Loss for Adults at Any Age Leads to Cost Savings, Study Suggests. Even going from obese to overweight leads to lower medical costs, productivity savings” http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/681678/?sc=sphr&xy=10020995
All you need is a strong resolve to lose weight and regain good health!
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