Bariatric surgery, also referred to as weight loss surgery, is an effective solution for helping individuals shed significant amounts of excess pounds. There are numerous advantages to this type of treatment, such as reduced medication need and improved medical complications like high blood pressure or diabetes.
Before opting for bariatric surgery, there are a few pros and cons to weigh. Research the different types of surgeries, their advantages and potential risks so you can make an informed decision.
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1. It’s Not for Everyone
Bariatric surgery can be an option for those who have struggled to lose weight through diet and exercise alone. While these procedures provide long-term weight loss, reduce obesity-related health issues, and enhance quality of life overall, you should know that bariatric surgery may not be suitable for everyone.
Many obese patients who have attempted to shed pounds through diet and exercise find that the pounds return over time. This is not indicative of a lack of willpower or an ineffective diet, but rather the body’s natural weight-loss process.
If your BMI is 35 or higher and you have at least one comorbid disease such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or sleep apnea, then bariatric surgery could be your ideal solution. With surgery you may reduce or eliminate medications for these conditions and studies show most people with diabetes experience normalized glucose levels within days after surgery.
Bariatric surgeries can help you lose weight and maintain it. The most popular, gastric bypass, involves rerouting part of your stomach into a smaller pouch that restricts food intake. Another popular procedure is the sleeve gastrectomy which removes about 80% of your stomach for slimmer contours.
Your doctor will discuss the advantages and potential drawbacks of bariatric surgery with you in detail, helping you decide if it’s suitable for you. They may also address any other conditions or medical issues that need to be addressed before undergoing the procedure.
Additionally, you should prepare for the procedure and commit to following a post-surgery recovery plan. This may include eating healthily, getting regular physical activity and receiving counseling to address emotional or behavioral challenges.
After bariatric surgery, you’ll likely feel more self-assured and less inclined to overeating. Furthermore, you may enjoy increased energy levels as well as improved overall health.
Gain the benefits of both a healthier lifestyle and deeper social connections when you lose weight. Your relationship with food may become less important as weight is shed, allowing for enjoyable meals with family and friends without feeling sabotaged by hunger cravings.
2. It’s Expensive
Bariatric surgery can be expensive, particularly when compared to other weight loss options. You may want to think twice before investing in this procedure if you’ve exhausted other solutions and are ready to give up on your weight problems; however, if that has become the only solution and you are ready to take control of your health again, bariatric surgery could be the ideal solution for getting back on track.
Thankfully, more insurance companies are now covering the costs of certain bariatric surgeries like gastric bypass, banding and sleeve gastrectomy. Before deciding to undergo surgery, make sure you read your insurance policy thoroughly and consult with your doctor to determine which procedures may be covered by your policy.
Some people can pay for the entire procedure up front, while others opt to take out loans that they can pay off over several years. Your surgeon may offer financing if needed, and some institutions even provide credit.
If you’re a patient with either a large employer or self-employed, medical financing for surgery could be an ideal option. These lenders typically have lower interest rates than banks and could be an attractive solution if you’re having trouble covering the cost out of pocket for bariatric surgery.
You must provide evidence that you are in poor health and would benefit from treatment. This includes your medical history as well as documentation of weight-related health conditions. If the insurance company denies coverage, it may take time to appeal the denial and get it approved again.
Obesity-related healthcare costs are becoming a significant burden on society and the economy, increasing at an alarming rate. These include costly primary conditions like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol as well as secondary conditions like heart disease, cancer and stroke. Ultimately, losing weight will save you money on healthcare while decreasing your likelihood of developing these serious illnesses.
3. It’s a Long-Term Solution
Obesity can be a long-term issue, but bariatric surgery offers long-lasting solutions that can bring about significant improvements to your wellbeing. These include decreased hunger, greater fullness and better blood sugar regulation.
Surgery works by altering how your stomach breaks down food and how much is absorbed. This may be done through a sleeve gastrectomy or duodenal switch.
Most types of bariatric surgery are done laparoscopically, in which a camera attached to an instrument allows the surgeon to see and operate through small incisions in your abdomen. This makes recovery faster and simpler for everyone.
In addition to weight-loss benefits, bariatric surgeries also have some health advantages such as decreasing diabetes risks and improving sleep apnea symptoms. Many people who suffer from these conditions report seeing their blood sugar levels stabilize or go into remission within days after surgery.
Combining surgery, diet, and exercise can help you shed those extra pounds for good. Not only that, but it may also enhance your quality of life and leave you feeling more energetic than before the operation.
The great thing about bariatric surgery is that you don’t have to do it alone; with a medical professional by your side, the process can be made more enjoyable and rewarding. Those who undergo the procedure typically report higher self-esteem, an increased sense of achievement, confidence in their appearances, energy to spare for activities they had difficulty completing before the operation – not to mention improved relationships with spouses or children as well as becoming more involved in their community.
4. It’s Not for Everyone
Bariatric surgery may not always be the best solution for individuals. It may not be safe and it may lead to complications, plus there’s a lengthy recovery time afterwards.
Bariatric surgery can be an effective weight loss tool in certain circumstances. It helps patients with obesity shed significant amounts of excess pounds, oftentimes leading to improvements in other health conditions associated with being overweight such as high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea and heart disease.
Some doctors are wary of bariatric surgery. They worry it might be too attractive to patients who don’t need it or aren’t serious about weight loss, and say surgeons who aren’t experienced in this type of operation could cause harm.
Another potential concern is that surgery could result in complications in other parts of the body, such as joints and liver. These could cause issues like heart attacks, pneumonia or gastrointestinal bleeding.
It’s not uncommon for surgery to cause serious medical issues, such as pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs). These can be life-threatening, and you have an increased chance of developing them during or soon after surgery.
Before and after bariatric surgery, it is essential to maintain your health. Check your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and have regular physical exams. Furthermore, adhere to a stringent diet and exercise routine after the operation for added benefits.
Before weight loss surgery, there’s no way to predict who will or won’t succeed. A 2016 study revealed that those who experienced greater success after having the procedure tended to be younger at the beginning and had a higher body mass index.
Most individuals who undergo bariatric surgery are able to shed more than 50% of their excess weight and keep it off in the long run. This can lead to a healthier, happier lifestyle with decreased risks for obesity-related diseases as well as decreased levels of depression and anxiety, along with enhanced relationships with family and friends.