When discussing the benefits of bariatric surgery, where does one begin? To put it simply, there are too many to mention and so few negatives that opting for this life-changing surgery is a foregone conclusion for many.
What is Bariatric Surgery?
Also known as geriatric bypass, bariatric surgery makes small adjustments to the digestive system to aid weight loss. Minor adjustments are made to the anatomy of the small intestines and stomach to influence appetite, metabolism, and satiety. The recovery period for most bariatric surgeries is about two to three weeks before patients can resume their normal routine.
The Benefits of Bariatric Surgery
Once the surgery is completed, patients must stick to aftercare routines for weight loss. So what are the ultimate long-term benefits of bariatric surgery?
Improves Heart Health
Bariatric surgery reduces a patient’s risk of developing various types of heart diseases. One study linked bariatric surgery to significantly fewer strokes and heart attacks. It’s easier for cholesterol and blood pressure levels to normalize after the surgery (provided the patient has managed to stay on their regiment), which reduces a patient’s overall risk and improves their wellbeing.
A growing body of studies shows a strong association between depression and chronic obesity, along with lots of emotional baggage. Patients are known to struggle with overwhelming sadness that can interfere with their day-to-day activities. This leads to difficulty in forming a social life and participating in activities that they would otherwise enjoy. All of this results in social isolation and continues the cycle of depression.
Losing excess weight can alleviate most of the major symptoms associated with emotional problems such as depression.
Treats Sleep Apnea
Obesity has been described as a major factor in the development of sleep apnea and other sleep-related disorders. Many studies have shown bariatric surgery to alleviate these disorders – so long as they have achieved sustained weight loss. Some patients struggling with inadequately controlled sleep apnea often opt for bariatric surgery for help with the disorder.
Relief from Joint Pain
A major culprit of joint pain is excessive weight. Firstly, the weight gain causes swelling and inflammation of the weight-bearing joints. Secondly, the weight adds significant stress on the joints, causing pain and mobility issues. In some cases, the damage to the joints is irreversible.
However, weight loss due to bariatric surgery can decrease the pain associated with weight loss and slow the progression of arthritis.
Interesting factoid: Experts claim that for every point of excess weight loss, patients lose three pounds of stress on their knees.
Weight Loss Can Boost Fertility Rates
Bariatric surgery can lead to improved pregnancy health and fertility rates. Weight loss decreases a hormone called GnRH that the brain sends to the testes or ovaries. In doing so, GnRH releases hormonal messengers FSH and LH that play an important role in the development of sperm in the testes and eggs in the ovaries.
Excessive weight can disrupt adequate hormonal production and in severe cases, may result in irregular menstrual cycles. In any case, weight loss was the most effective way to treat reproductive problems.
Remission of Type II Diabetes
Studies now show that bariatric surgery can be used to treat various obesity-related problems such as type II diabetes. Obesity increases levels of fatty acids and inflammation in the body, which can increase insulin resistance, a major factor in the development of type II diabetes.
Bariatric surgery may help facilitate long-term remission of type II diabetes, and more importantly, allows patients to remain free of various medications – in some cases, for up to three years after the surgery.
Are There Any Risks?
There are a few risks that are worth discussing with your doctor. Examples of side effects include:
- Acid reflux
- Inability to eat certain foods
- Vomiting and nausea
- Stomach obstruction
- Bowel obstruction
- Low blood sugar
- Inability to lose weight
The best way to lower your risk of and side effects is by decreasing your BMI and exercising. It is recommended to avoid smoking to further minimize the risk of side effects associated with bariatric surgery.
More Than Just Weight Loss
Successful cases of bariatric surgery show a loss of up to 70 pounds or more. Patients must keep the weight off for a minimum of five years in order for bariatric surgery to be considered a success. Bariatric surgery can offer a significant change in lifestyle because it facilitates robust and early weight loss by altering some of the neurophysiology around weight regulation.
Patients feel less hunger and it is reported that certain junk foods, that would have been considered palatable, are not as tasty. These changes can play a big role in reducing one’s food intake and facilitating long-term weight loss.
The overall mortality in normal-weight patients is lower than in obese patients, and bariatric surgery makes it easier to achieve a healthy weight by directly addressing the root causes.
Some people may require dieting plans to achieve desired weight loss, so be sure to discuss this with your doctor or nutritionist to come up with a diet plan. Also, you will have to stick to the dieting plan for the surgery to be considered a success.
If you’ve decided to proceed with this life-changing surgery, the next step is to ensure you choose the right clinic. It is vital to find a specialist who is trained and experienced with this procedure. In addition, you should have a consultation with your preferred doctor before discussing your needs.
When speaking to a clinic, don’t’ hesitate to ask them questions related to their training, experience, use of tools, and certifications. A good doctor should have no problems discussing your expectations and asking any questions., When you visit the clinic, you should look around for signs of professionalism. They will also have a portfolio of clients who have received treatments through their clinics.
Furthermore, you can look up online reviews on social media sites and other plates from previously satisfied clients. If you are in Alabama and need bariatric surgery, get in touch with the experts at Alabama Bariatrics.