Whenever the topic of bariatric surgery is brought up to someone who hasn’t done their research, they often believe it is a drastic weight loss measure and dismiss it right out the gates. However, as diet and exercise programs fail and other structured weight loss programs do not offer the expected results, patients begin to look at surgery more favorably. And, in fact, when you consider living with obesity, surgery may not be as drastic measure as you think.
Let’s look at the potential consequences of uncontrolled obesity. Obesity can cause a host of issues, ranging from type-2 diabetes and high cholesterol to high blood pressure, sleep apnea and more. Any one of these are risk factors for cardiovascular disorders and other conditions. Taken together, uncontrolled metabolic issues significantly increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, arthritis and even cancer, to name just a few. Indeed, as obesity becomes an ever-bigger part of our society, we’ve seen the incidence of heart disease, abdominal disorders and even hormonal issues increase alongside it. When you consider the full breath of problems that obesity can cause, bariatric surgery no longer seems like such a drastic measure.
It is also important to understand more about the safety and efficacy of bariatric surgery. While we would all love to lose weight with diet and exercise alone, unfortunately, most people cannot maintain long-term results. In fact, it is estimated that only about 5 to 10% of diet and exercise participants keep the weight off long-term. On the other hand, bariatric surgery is far more successful with anywhere from 70 to 80% of patients maintaining their weight loss over the long term.
Looking at the safety profile of bariatric surgery gives us even more optimism. Advances in the technology and techniques associated with bariatric surgery have made a gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass for example, as safe as a routine gallbladder surgery. This exceptional safety profile lends even more credence to the idea that bariatric surgery is not actually a drastic measure.
But What Will Others Think?
There will always be those who find out about your bariatric surgery and believe that you have taken the easy way out. Truly, nothing can be further from the truth. Bariatric surgery is simply a tool and just the beginning of a lifelong challenge that will include long-term modification of diet and exercise. However, bariatric surgery is most certainly not a silver bullet and patients can regain their weight in the future if they don’t stick to their postoperative diet and exercise plan.
So, as you think about possibly having bariatric surgery, remind yourself that it may not be as drastic an action as you first thought. We also want you to be very comfortable with your decision and look forward to speaking to you at our office. At your consultation, we can give you the information you need to make an informed decision about your care including whether surgery is the right option and which procedure you prefer. In the meantime, feel free to watch our online weight loss seminar for more information.