Are you dangerously obese or at least 80 to 100 pounds overweight and can’t lose the pounds? Even if you are not too fat, but have heart disease, diabetes, or sleep apnea; then bariatric surgery might be an option for you. However, this procedure should only be considered as treatment, and one should be referred to surgeons with bariatric surgery experience.
Bariatric surgery is recommended by the U.S. National Institutes of Health for people with 35 body mass index (BMI) and serious coexisting obesity-related comorbid condition like diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, as well as for obese people with at least 40 BMI. Studies have revealed that bariatric surgery has caused significant long-term weight loss, improvement in cardiovascular risk factors, recovery from diabetes, and 23% to 40% reduction in mortality.
It is also called metabolic and weight-loss surgery, obesity surgery, or bypass surgery. The weight loss procedure can be achieved by the reduction of stomach size with implanted medical device or rerouting of the small intestines to a minuscule stomach pouch. Although bariatric surgery limits your food intake, some operations restrict the food you can digest. However, it is not without risks and complications, which include blood clots, infections and hernias. And, you can only keep most of your weight off if you exercise and follow diet recommendations.
Health implications of obesity
Obesity were once understood as excess body weight but since 1985, it was regarded as a chronic disease affecting 58 million people in the U.S., the second-leading cause of preventable death. Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and some cancers and approximately 1/3 of American adults are obese.
Estimated annual deaths attributable to obesity among U.S. adults are about 280,000. Obese people are 50% more likely to have high-cholesterol levels and 1/3 of hypertension is associated with obesity.
Who should get bariatric surgery?
Only your surgeon can decide whether or not you should have bariatric surgery for weight loss. If you are too thin, you will be advised that the risk outweighs the benefits, but if you are too heavy, you will be advised to lose weigh before the operation.
To help your surgeon make the final decision, inform him that
1. You have severe lung or heart disease.
2. You have inflammation of the digestive tract.
3. You have portal hypertension.
4. You have upper digestive tract bleeding condition.
5. You have cirrhosis of the liver.
6. You have abnormal digestive tract anatomy.
7. You have chronic pancreatitis.
8. You are pregnant.
9. You are under 18 years old.
10. You have known allergies to implant materials.
11. You use steroids within 15 days of surgery.
12. You have an infection of any type.
Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas