The number of Americans seeking bariatric surgery continues to rise every year. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), the number of bariatric surgeries increased from 158,000 to 228,000 between 2011 and 2017. And with the impressive results that weight loss surgery offers, it is no surprise that the global bariatric surgery market is projected to exceed $3.5 million by 2024. But the benefits of bariatric surgery extend far beyond weight loss. They include improved mobility, diabetes remission, lower blood pressure, reduced risk of cancer, and a host of others. Below is a look at the top eight advantages of bariatric surgery.
Maintained Weight Loss
Long-term weight control is a key reason why bariatric surgery is gaining popularity. According to the ASMBS, the majority of patients who undergo bariatric surgery are able to avoid returning to their pre-surgery weight. In contrast to the poor long-term success yielded through dieting, bariatric surgery results in long-term weight- loss for about 80 percent of people.
Patients who are overweight often experience chronic pain and mobility difficulties due to the added stress that excessive weight places on their joints. Long-lasting weight- loss achieved through bariatric surgery effectively reduces the strain on joints, allowing patients to move about more freely without pain. The positive impact is impressive, with results of one U.S. study showing that 77 percent of people reported better physical function following weight- loss surgery.
Type 2 Diabetes Remission
"A recent Cleveland Clinic study suggests that bariatric surgery causes long-term remission of difficult-to-control type 2 diabetes. The results of this study show the procedure is highly effective for obese patients with type 2 diabetes, allowing almost all patients to remain free of insulin and adjunct medications for at least three years post- surgery,"
- Philip Schauer, MD, Director of Cleveland Clinic's Bariatric and Metabolic Institute
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), roughly one in ten people have diabetes, with 90 to 95 percent of them having type 2 diabetes. Mayo Clinic specialists note that bariatric surgery leads to long-term remission of highly resistant type 2 diabetes, enabling them to avoid the use of medications for years after surgery.
Relief from Depression Symptoms
Depression is more common than average among obese people. In many cases, depression develops as a result of poor body image and the social isolation that can occur as people stop participating in activities that they used to enjoy. When people lose weight after bariatric surgery, they often regain their confidence and return to their favorite activities.
Lower Risk of Death Due to Heart Disease
"Eight years after the weight-loss surgery, 24 people had been diagnosed with heart failure. Twice as many — 55 patients — in the non-surgery group had developed heart failure. The surgery group also had fewer heart attacks and strokes, but not enough to be significant by research standards." - American Heart Association
Heart disease now accounts for one in four deaths in the United States, highlighting the need to control its incidence. The American Heart Association recently pointed to a study conducted by Geisinger Obesity Institute that showed that heart failure was twice as common among overweight people who did not seek weight - loss surgery compared to study participants who sought the surgery.
Reduced Cancer Risk
Researchers have found that people who undergo bariatric surgery are significantly less likely to develop hormone-related cancer. A study published by the British Journal of Surgery found that people who had bariatric surgery had a 77 percent decrease in their risk of developing breast, endometrial, or prostate cancer when compared to patients who did not have surgery.
Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is common among obese individuals. But bariatric surgery has been shown to lower blood pressure in overweight people. A trial by GATEWAY showed that approximately 80 percent of study participants who had weight- loss surgery were able to reduce or stop their blood pressure medication compared to only 13 percent of participants who did not undergo surgery. Considering that only 14 percent of obese people have normal blood pressure, this is welcome news for people planning to explore weight- loss surgery.
Multiple Surgical Options
People who are interested in bariatric surgery are often able to decide which type of surgery is the best fit for their weight- loss needs and physical health. Here is a look at some of the most common types of bariatric surgical procedures available:
- Gastric Sleeve Surgery: This type of non-reversible surgery is the most popular type of bariatric surgery. It involves removal of a large part of the stomach through stapling. The remaining part of the stomach is greatly reduced in size, thereby restricting the amount of food consumed.
- Lap-Band Surgery: Also known as gastric banding, Lap-Band surgery is often selected because it is the least invasive type of bariatric surgery. A surgeon places a band or rubber ring around the top part of your stomach to create a small pouch to help you feel full more quickly.
- Gastric Bypass Surgery: This type of laparoscopic surgery involves the placement of an adjustable silicone band around your stomach. The band shrinks the size of your stomach to help you feel full faster, thereby reducing your food intake.
- Loop Duodenal Switch (DS): This type of surgery is a safe and highly effective procedure that occurs in two phases. The first phase is similar to a gastric sleeve procedure while the second portion involves a bypass of the small intestine.
Interested in Bariatric Surgery?
As outlined above, bariatric surgery offers many benefits. If you are struggling with obesity and are interested in exploring bariatric surgery, the best step to take is to contact an experienced bariatric surgery provider. We invite you to discover our bariatric surgery and medical weight loss program that has a track record of providing excellent outcomes and outstanding patient care. We look forward to helping you embark on the path to long lasting weight- loss.