Bariatric surgery is a term which describes several operations used for weight loss in people with severe obesity. When these procedures were developed many years ago, they were designed solely for weight loss and were often thought to be risky and fraught with complications.
Two major changes have occurred recently which have altered the way the public thinks about bariatric surgery. First, the main procedures that are used – gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and adjustable gastric band – are considered safe. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the mortality rate for bariatric surgery (3 out of 1000) is similar to that of a gallbladder removal and considerably less than that of a hip replacement. The exceptionally low death rate with bariatric surgery is extraordinary considering that most patients affected by severe obesity are in poor health and have one or more life-threatening diseases at the time of their surgery. When the benefits and the risks of surgery are reviewed for the specific person, the benefits usually outweigh the risks.
Second, there is better understanding now as to the overall potential benefits of this surgery beyond just the obvious effect of losing weight. Blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and cholesterol levels have been improving through surgery and can have an impact on lowering the risk of future cardiac disease and possibly improve the ability to live longer. Weight-loss surgery often significantly improves other obesity-related issues such as depression, acid reflux, arthritis, sleep apnea, and others. Thus, bariatric surgery is rapidly becoming the preferred treatment for severe obesity and its associated health problems.
When combined with a comprehensive treatment plan, bariatric surgery can be an effective tool to provide long-term weight loss and help you increase your quality of health. Significant weight loss through bariatric surgery may also pave the way for many other exciting opportunities for you and your family. If you think you might be a candidate for bariatric surgery, contact the offices of Dr. Tsuda for more information.