Weight loss surgery, also called bariatric or metabolic surgery, is now an established treatment for people who are very obese.
It can lead to significant weight loss and help improve many obesity-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Weight loss surgery helps people with extreme obesity to lose weight. It may be an option if you cannot lose weight through diet and exercise or have serious health problems caused by obesity.
There are different types of weight loss surgery. They often limit the amount of food you can take in. Some types of surgery also affect how you digest food and absorb nutrients.
All types of Bariatric procedures have risks. But how safe are the procedures, and do the benefits outweigh the risks?
There is no doubt that obesity is a major cause of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases.
The condition can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and it has also been linked to some cancers, including breast cancer and colon cancer. A recent study reported by Medical News Today even suggested a link between obesity and pancreatic cancer.
Furthermore, the condition can severely damage a person’s quality of life, leaving them immobile and often triggering depression.
Based on these factors, it is not difficult to understand why excessively overweight individuals look to various weight loss interventions in order to combat their obesity.
Bariatric surgery refers to a series of weight loss procedures that an obese individual can have in order to reduce their food intake, therefore causing them to lose weight.
A person is classed as obese if their body mass index (BMI) is over 30. If their BMI is over 40, they are deemed severely obese.
Gastric bypass is the most commonly used bariatric procedure worldwide, The procedure involves re-routing the digestive system past the stomach in order to promote satiety and suppress hunger.
The gastric band procedure involves having an inflatable band placed around the top portion of the stomach. This creates a smaller stomach pouch, meaning eating less will make a person feel full and satisfy their hunger.
Sleeve gastrectomy, around 80% of the stomach is removed to create a smaller stomach pouch. This reduces the amount of food that can be consumed.
Recovery time from these procedures varies from patient to patient. But it could take some time for a patient to resume their normal daily activities following surgery, and many will have to follow a liquid diet and introduce normal foods slowly.
Bariatric surgery appears to be the preferred option over other weight loss interventions as the standard diet and exercise strategies only lead to significant weight loss only in 5% of the cases where the BMI exceeds 40
Surgery for weight loss and control of associated diseases, has been shown to be the most effective option available for patients suffering from obesity and related diseases.”
Bariatric surgery has indeed demonstrated positive results in the past. Medical News Today recently reported on a study published in the BMJ suggesting that weight loss surgery is significantly more effective, compared with non-surgical methods.
Furthermore, studies have shown that weight loss surgery is associated with fewer cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, and it has even been suggested that the procedure is linked to improved sex drive in patients.
There have been various scientific studies published over last few years which have confirmed the positive effects of bariatric surgery, acceptance of the procedure has greatly increased.
However, in the appropriate patients, the health risks from obesity far outweigh the risks associated with bariatric surgery. Metabolic and bariatric surgery is associated with major reductions in risk of premature death over a 5-year period versus not having surgery, and in the US, the risk of bariatric surgery is now no greater than laparoscopic gall bladder surgery. However the patients do need better advice to make decisions and need to be be better informed about the risks associated with bariatric surgery and whether the procedure is right for them.
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