The Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery and Its Associated Risks

Because so many people are now obese, the medical world is taking note and offering surgery to combat it. At clinics like, diaries are filling up with people interested in having bariatric surgery completed. This is, for them, an opportunity to finally beat the bulge.

The Research

According to the AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality), 13,386 bariatric surgeries were completed in 1998. Four years later, however, this has jumped to 71,733. That’s not to say, however, that this type of surgery is suitable for everybody. Each type of bariatric surgery has significant pros and cons associated with it, and you need to be aware of these in order to determine whether you want to have it performed or not. Your surgeon will discuss all of this with you, as well as determining which type of surgery is most suitable, should you decide to go ahead.

The Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

  • The greatest benefit of this type of surgery is that it works. You can expect to lose weight very quickly, which will continue for between one and a half and two years.
  • Because you lose weight, you will be much healthier overall and your quality of life will improve.
  • Complications as a result of bariatric surgery are rare.
  • Comorbid conditions are usually managed or even fully resolved within three years of having had the surgery.
  • Many of the surgeries can now be done laparoscopically, which means you don’t have to stay in hospital long, will recover quicker, and don’t experience as much scarring or pain.
  • All obesity-related disorders start to improve.
  • People with type 2 diabetes caused by being obese or overweight can see a significant reduction in their symptoms and dangers associated with the condition. Some, in fact, may send the disease into remission.
  • You are at lower risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea, asthma, high cholesterol, and hypertension.
  • If you have high blood pressure, you are likely to see an improvement within two or three months.
  • The surgery can help to resolve stress incontinence.
  • Aches and pains caused by carrying too much weight can also disappear.

Clearly, the benefits are very significant and even lifesaving.

The Risks

However, it is not all positive, and you must be aware of the risks as well. These include:

  • Surgery is surgery, so there are always risks of complications, including stomach problems, infections, nerve problems, hernias, and pain.
  • If you do develop an abdominal infection, you may have to face lengthy hospitalization.
  • After the surgery, you may experience hair loss, malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, and/or depression.
  • The chances of bleeding stomach ulcers and pulmonary embolisms is increased in people who have had this type of surgery.
  • You will be left with a significant amount of excess skin after you have lost the weight.

Only you can decide, together with your physician, whether or not these are risks worth taking. Do not make the decision likely, but properly compare all the different options available to you.