Why Have Bariatric Surgery?
Obesity is a chronic disease and not the result of gluttony or laziness. In addition to genetics, there are several other factors that may influence a person’s risk of becoming obese including, their environment, psychosocial issues, psychiatric conditions, metabolic disorders, and some medication or drugs. Unfortunately this excess weight puts your health at a significant risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, sleep apnea, some obesity-related cancers, and premature death.
It is well accepted that weight loss leads to improvement of obesity-associated diseases, prolongs life, and improves the quality of life. In order to achieve these benefits, weight loss must be permanent. There are a variety of ways that people have found to try to treat obesity, including diets and diet pills. There is no doubt that a person living with morbid obesity can go on a diet and lose weight, however studies have shown repeatedly that “yo-yo dieting” is more predictive of being heavier over time than maintaining or losing weight. Keeping the weight off for the rest of your life through diet and exercise is less than 1% when your body mass index (BMI) is higher than 35 (ASMBS reference).
Long Term Weight Loss
Bariatric surgery has been shown to be an effective option for rapid weight loss and long-term weight maintenance. A gastric bypass can result in losing 70% of excess body weight and maintain this 5 years after surgery, and the sleeve gastrectomy can result in losing 60% of excess body weight in the same timeframe. As an average, studies have shown that about 90% of people who have bariatric surgery will maintain at least 50% of excess body weight loss and keep this off long term (ASMBS).
Improvement in obesity-related health conditions
Bariatric surgery does not only help and maintain weight loss, but it also is an effective tool for treating type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, and in some cases acid reflux.
The graphic lists the actual rates based on multiple research studies. Please note that individual results may vary.
Morbid obesity is associated with decreased life span. Studies have also shown people who have bariatric surgery live longer and have a lower risk of cancer as compared to people living with obesity who do not have bariatric surgery.
In particular, Dr. Christou (our founding father) published a landmark study in 2004 that showed the 5-year mortality rate in the bariatric surgical group was 0.68% compared with 6.2% in the medically managed patients— an 89% relative risk reduction in mortality. Other studies have shown similar results, which tells us that if a patient with morbid obesity undergoes surgery today, they will reduce their chance of dying by an average of 57%* compared to a patient with no surgery. Another way to interpret this research is that every year of waiting for bariatric surgery increases the risk of death by about 5-10%.* – *Individual results may vary.
Lower Risk of Cancer
Studies have shown that a person living with morbid obesity who has bariatric surgery has a 50-60% lower risk of developing obesity-related cancers than someone living with morbid obesity who does not have surgery. This includes a lower risk in developing endometrial cancer, liver, kidney, pancreatic, and breast cancer, among several others.
Why opt for weight loss surgery – the bottom line!
The main reason to have weight loss surgery is to recover your health, increase your lifespan and improve your quality of life.
Here are the facts:
Yo-yo dieting is more predictive of long term weight gain than weight loss.
Medical experts agree that bariatric surgery produces long term weight loss.
Medical experts agree that bariatric surgery improves most obesity-associated diseases including: type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, and in some cases acid reflux.
Medical experts agree that bariatric surgery reduces the risk of premature death by more than 50%.
Medical experts agree that bariatric surgery reduces the risk of developing obesity-related cancer by more than 50%.