If you find yourself struggling with one or more obesity-related health conditions, bariatric surgery could be right for you.
There is no question that excess weight is linked to higher incidences of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma and reflux disease. In fact, the life expectancy of patients with morbid obesity is reduced by between 5 and 20 years. Bariatric Surgery can lead to dramatic improvements in weight related health conditions as well as increased life expectancy. In general, 70-95% of patients with obesity-related medical conditions are no longer on medication for these conditions after bariatric surgery.
|Sleep Apnea Syndrome||98%||100%|
|Urinary Stress Incontinence||97%||100%|
Obese individuals develop a resistance to insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels. Over time, the resulting high blood sugar can cause serious damage to the body. Weight loss in patients with prediabetic conditions will delay or prevent the development of diabetes. Bariatric surgery results in dramatic improvement if not complete resolution of type 2 diabetes in >95% of patients. Normal Blood Sugar levels are usually obtained within days after surgery leaving patients with little or no need for continued medications.
Excess body weight strains the ability of the heart to function properly. The result is hypertension or high blood pressure which can lead to stroke, as well as heart and kidney damage. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, high blood pressure is twice as common in obese adults versus adults of normal weight. Heart disease, including heart attack and congestive heart failure, is six times more common in obese people. Severely obese people have 40 times the risk of dying suddenly from a heart attack. Bariatric Surgery can reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by 56%.
The additional weight placed on joints, particularly the knees and hips, results in rapid wear and tear as well as pain from inflammation. This may eventually require joint replacement. Similarly, bones and muscles of the back are constantly strained, resulting in disk problems, pain and decreased mobility. Many orthopedic surgeons refuse to perform joint replacements in morbidly obese people until they have lost a significant amount of weight.
Most people are completely unaware of this condition and can go undiagnosed. The danger is that Sleep Apnea can result in dangerous irregular heart beats and can even cause sudden death. Sleep Apnea is when a person temporarily stops breathing during sleep. It is caused by fat deposits in the tongue and neck that cause intermittent blockage of the windpipe. This results in snoring and periods of not breathing. The result is a lack of quality sleep causing daytime drowsiness and headaches. Sleep Apnea is usually completely resolved with weight loss.
When acid escapes into the esophagus through a weak or overloaded valve at the top of the stomach, the result is called gastroesophageal reflux. Symptoms can include burning and pain. Approximately 10-15% of patients with mild symptoms of heartburn will develop a condition called Barrett's esophagus, which is a pre-cancerous condition that can lead to esophageal cancer. Bariatric Surgery can offer complete relief and often a cure for GERD in over 90% of patients.
Morbidly Obese people are confronted with many types of discrimination which leads to emotional distress. They may receive criticism from family and friends including disapproval at repeatedly failing diets. They often experience discrimination at work, including not receiving appropriate promotions or raises. They often cannot fit comfortably in theatre seats, booths in a restaurant, or ride in a bus or plane. Simple things like tying one's shoes can become a challenge. It is not uncommon to see withdrawal from social events and even loss of friendships or relationships because of poor self esteem. The ability to finally take control of one's weight allows the patient to take control of their life.
Infertility is defined as the inability or diminished ability to produce offspring. Women who are morbidly obese have altered levels of estrogen and progesterone, which results in irregular menstrual cycles and infertility. This can be reversed once weight loss is achieved.
A large, heavy abdomen and relaxation of the pelvic muscles, especially associated with the effects of childbirth, may cause the valve on the urinary bladder to be weakened, leading to leakage of urine with coughing, sneezing, or laughing. Simple weight loss can lead to relief of this debilitating problem.
Recent articles in the New England Journal of Medicine have shown that Morbid Obesity is associated with an increased risk for a shorter life expectancy. In fact, the life expectancy of morbidly obese individuals is reduced by an estimated 5-20 years. For individuals whose weight exceeds twice their ideal body weight (2-6% of the U.S. population), the risk of an early death is doubled compared to non-obese individuals. The risk of death from diabetes or heart attack is five to seven times greater. Bariatric Surgery has been shown to not only improve heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, GERD, infertility and high cholesterol but also leads to a decreased overall mortality.