Benefits Of Bariatric Surgery
Why Diet and Exercise Might Not Be Enough
For most obese patients, the prescription is to reduce calories and increase exercise. While this works well on paper and is a good prescription for most patients, it tends to have a low success rate. The primary reason for this is poor adherence, which can be attributed to unrealistic expectations, environmental factors, and difficulty caused by weight-related stigma.
Severely obese patients often report trying to lose weight with diet and exercise, but failing to achieve their weight loss goals. What's worse is that for severely obese patients, their weight will eventually become a matter of life and death. This means that other interventions will become necessary to prolong life and improve quality of life. Because of this fact, surgeons and researchers developed surgical procedures that are meant to restrict food intake and reduce the body's ability to absorb excess calories from food.
Health Benefits of Bariatric Surgery
Reduced All-Cause Mortality
There have been several studies done on the subject of mortality for obese patients, both for those who underwent bariatric surgery and those who did not. One study found up to an 89 percent greater reduction in mortality in 5 years for individuals who had bariatric surgery when compared to those who did not.
Bariatric procedures, although not free of risks, tend to be very safe and effective procedures. Their mortality rate is similar to that of gallbladder removal, and the most common risks such as blood clots and infection are common to all surgical procedures.
Remission of Obesity-Related Diseases
Bariatric surgeries also lead to improvement and remission of Type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM). For a long time, T2DM was considered incurable. As time went on, it was found that T2DM could be brought into remission through weight loss and dietary changes. This, however, did not always result in remission.
However, there is now a large body of scientific evidence showing remission of T2DM following bariatric surgery. A large review of 621 studies involving 135,247 patients found that bariatric surgery causes improvement of diabetes in more than 85 percent of the diabetic population and remission of the disease in 78 percent. The likelihood of remission depends on the procedure, however. Remission of T2DM was highest for the biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS) (95%), followed by the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) with remission in 80 percent of patients. Sleeve gastrectomy also seems to have a similar remission rate to the RYGB.
What’s more interesting is that diabetes sometimes goes into remission before weight loss even takes place, meaning that bariatric surgery is one of the most effective methods of putting type 2 diabetes into remission.
Improved Quality of Life
There are many more ways that rapid weight loss can improve your life. One big advantage is improved libido after bariatric surgery in both men and women, according to a JAMA study. Another is that bariatric surgery patients are more likely to adapt to a more active lifestyle, with a lower risk of joint and tendon pain.
The reality of our society is that people who are less obese are treated better in romantic and platonic contexts. These factors can result in a positive feedback loop that ultimately improves self-esteem and self-image.
Losing weight is one of the best ways for obese patients to improve many different health factors at once. If you’re interested in taking this big step, schedule a consultation with Dr. Ramos Kelly today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Bariatric surgeries typically have two components: a restrictive component and a malabsorptive component. The restrictive component restricts how much food a patient can ingest in one sitting, and is usually done by reducing the size of the available stomach. The malabsorptive component aims to reduce the body’s ability to absorb calories for energy, causing the patient to rely more on fat storage for fuel. This is usually done by bypassing a part of the intestine.
Different procedures do this in different ways. Gastric sleeve, for example, does not have a malabsorptive component but instead works by removing a portion of the stomach responsible for producing hunger hormones. This reduces the overall hunger response while also reducing the total amount of food the patient can eat in one sitting.
The requirements to get bariatric surgery are strict because bariatric procedures change the way your digestive system works. It is not something to be prescribed lightly, and for this reason, bariatric surgeons require that their patients meet the following criteria:
- A body mass index (BMI) of over 40, OR
- A body mass index (BMI) of over 35 AND the presence of one or more obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or sleep apnea, AND
- A demonstrated inability to lose weight using diet modifications and exercise alone
If you meet these criteria, then bariatric surgery may be right for you. You can get bariatric surgery in Tijuana for much less than it would cost in the USA. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Ramos Kelly to learn more about your options!