Bariatric surgery is a serious approach to losing weight and regaining mobility, health and self-confidence.
But you should not consider weight loss surgery until you and your doctor have explored all other options, and until you have given careful thought to the benefits and risks. Your discussion should include the following points:
What are some benefits of weight loss surgery?
Obviously, the most important benefit is losing weight and feeling better. But patients who undergo bariatric surgery have significantly reduced rates of developing cancer, cardiovascular diseases, endocrinological disorders, infectious diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, psychiatric disorders, and pulmonary disorders.
As for weight loss, you can expect it to happen gradually with the adjustable gastric band-a weight loss of one to two pounds a week in the first year after the operation is common. One year to 18 months after the operation, weekly weight loss is usually less. Overall weight loss averages 40 to 60 percent of excess weight after two years. Weight loss is much quicker after gastric bypass, and averages 50 to 70 percent loss of excess weight.
Weight loss results vary among patients, depending on your dietary and exercise patterns, as well as genetic, social, emotional and cultural factors, so it's hard to accurately predict who will lose a lot of weight after bariatric surgery, and who will lose only a little.
Those who do well with weight loss tend to avoid snacks, eat nutritious foods, are more active, continue to work with support programs, and follow up with their doctor.
Those patients who show a less than average weight loss over time tend to be those who do not change their eating and exercise patterns, and/or return to snacking.
Other conditions improve
Weight loss surgery has been shown to dramatically improve conditions such as:
Weight loss also may improve conditions such as:
Respiratory Problems: Sleep apnea (difficulty breathing during sleep) decreases dramatically as patients lose weight. Patients who became short of breath from walking find that after surgery, they can participate in many more activities with families and others, and can also begin more rigorous exercise as time goes on. Patients with asthma find that they have fewer and less severe attacks after surgery, especially when attacks are triggered by episodes of gastric reflux.
Life Expectancy: Several clinical studies of bariatric surgery show that surgery improved life expectancy in patients by at least 29 to 89 percent.
Surgical Risks for Gastric Bypass and Gastric Banding
As with any surgery, there may be immediate and long-term complications and risks. Discuss the benefits and risks with your bariatric surgeon and healthcare team.
Potential Risks of Weight Loss Surgery
Potential Risks and Complications After Gastric Bypass
Potential Risks and Complications After Gastric Banding
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