Bariatric surgery is an effective tool to provide patients with long term weight loss and increased quality of health. It has been proven to help improve or resolve many obesity related health conditions (comorbidities), such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other illnesses. Very often patients find themselves taking less medications that were prescribed to treat obesity related illnesses.
Needless to say that weight loss and improvement of health condition provides a better quality of personal and professional life as well as longevity.
Types of Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery helps patients to loose weight by restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold, causing malabsorption of nutrients, or by a combination of both gastric restriction and malabsorption.
There are several different bariatric surgery procedures, but the two general ways in which they work are RESTRICTION and MALABSORPTION:
- Restriction limits the amount of food you can eat. Whether it is a gastric banding device around the stomach or a surgically-created, smaller stomach pouch, restriction ensures that the patient feels satisfied with less food
- Malabsorption limits the number of calories and nutrients your body can absorb. During malabsorptive procedures, the surgeon reroutes the small intestine so that fewer calories and nutrients are absorbed
Commonly performed bariatric procedures include:
Risk vs. Benefit
There is a largely popular misbelieve that bariatric surgery is far too risky. The truth is that as patients’ BMI increases their mortality rate increases as well. There are numerous studies proving that having bariatric surgery is FAR LESS RISKY than not having it.
In spite of the poor health condition of bariatric patients prior to procedure, the chance of dying from the operation is exceptionally low. The data has shown that having a bariatric surgery reduces the mortality risk by 89%, as well as highly decreases mortality rates due to specific diseases.
Ultimately you will discuss with your surgeon which procedure is right for you so that the benefit will always outweigh the risk.
Important Bariatric Surgery Considerations
Bariatric surgery should not be considered until you and your doctor have explored all other options. The best approach to bariatric surgery calls for a discussion of the following:
- Bariatric surgery is not cosmetic surgery
- Bariatric surgery does not involve the removal of adipose tissue (fat) by suction or surgical removal
- Together, you and your doctor should discuss the benefits and risks
- You must commit to long-term lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, which are key to the success of bariatric surgery
- Complications after surgery may require further operations
- Patients who underwent bariatric surgery have significantly reduced rates of developing cancer, cardiovascular diseases, endocrinological disorders, infectious diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, psychiatric disorders, and pulmonary disorders
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