Healthy Weight Week: How Bariatric Surgery Can Benefit You

Do you need a little motivation to stay on track with your New Year’s weight loss goals? Healthy Weight Week is January 16-20! This nationwide public health and awareness campaign highlights the importance of healthy changes that can lead to long-term weight loss.

Diet and exercise are the two main components for weight loss, but sometimes they just aren’t enough. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose and have been unsuccessful with diet, exercise and medications, it may be time to consider bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery is a safe and effective weight loss procedure for those affected by severe obesity. This type of surgery promotes weight loss by making changes to the digestive system. Some types of bariatric surgery decrease the overall size of the stomach to limit caloric intake and help you feel fuller faster. Other types make changes to the small intestine where calories and nutrients are absorbed. Most weight loss surgeries are performed using minimally invasive techniques which increase safety and reduce recovery time.

Not everyone is a candidate for bariatric surgery, so it is important to talk to your doctor if you are considering this route (Source: American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery). Common criteria for weight loss surgery include:

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher or be 100 pounds overweight
  • A BMI of 35 or higher and have at least two obesity-related comorbidities such as hypertension, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, lipid abnormalities, gastrointestinal disorders, or heart disease
  • Inability to achieve long-term weight loss with traditional methods such as lifestyle modifications and exercise

Weight loss is the most obvious benefit of bariatric surgery, but many patients experience other health benefits as well (Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases). After surgery, patients may see improvement in obesity-related health issues such as:

  • type 2 diabetes
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • unhealthy cholesterol levels
  • sleep apnea
  • urinary incontinence
  • body aches
  • joint pain in the hips and knees

Bariatric surgery can produce amazing results, but long-term success depends largely upon your commitment to healthy lifestyle changes. Following a well-balanced diet and committing to an exercise routine is crucial to achieving optimum results. For more information on how bariatric surgery can benefit you, schedule an appointment with your doctor today!