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Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery

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Learn more about the benefits of weight loss surgery.

If you are living with extra weight, you’re not alone. According to the American Heart Association, approximately 35 percent of all adults, or nearly 80 million people over age 18, in the United States are obese. Involving a serious commitment, weight loss initiated by surgery may provide several long-term benefits.

You may benefit from weight loss surgery if:

  • Your weight is roughly a hundred pounds beyond where it should be for your height
  • You’ve tried other methods to shed excess pounds without success

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Weight-Related Conditions May Improve *

If you have a weight-related condition, you may benefit from weight loss surgery. More than 80 million U.S. adults 20 and older may be at risk for developing diabetes, one of several conditions linked to obesity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), excess weight also contributes to gallbladder disease and respiratory issues such as asthma. Returning to a normal weight range may make such conditions easier to manage or reverse or eliminate some of them. Losing significant weight may also help control blood sugar and cholesterol levels and keep blood pressure within a normal range.

Joint Pain Relief *

Extra weight puts added pressure on the bones and joints responsible for movement. Excess pounds may also hasten the progression of arthritis, an inflammatory condition affecting joints. Stress on weight-bearing joints sometimes results in chronic pain and makes it difficult to get around. Some patients who undergo weight loss surgery are able to reduce their reliance on pain medications and see an improvement in overall mobility as pressure on joints eases.

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Better Emotional Health *

Taking a positive step to lose weight will be good for your emotional and mental health. Poor body image and social stigmas associated with obesity may contribute to issues with depression and anxiety. Extra weight sometimes makes it difficult to participate in enjoyable activities without becoming winded or fatigued. Younger people who are overweight, in particular, may experience depression from not being able to take part in physically demanding activities with friends. It may even be difficult to enjoy time with children and grandchildren due to an inability to take part in certain activities.

Fertility May Improve *

One study showed that a woman’s chances of conceiving decreased by four percent with a BMI of 29 or more. Other studies on weight and conception suggest losing just five percent of excess body weight may improve the odds of becoming pregnant. Obese men who have issues with fertility may also see improvements after weight loss surgery.

Sleep Apnea Improvements *

Being significantly overweight increases the risk of having sleep apnea, a serious and potentially life-threatening sleep disorder where breathing is interrupted. Some patients with sleep apnea who have surgery to facilitate weight loss are able to reduce their reliance on a special machine used as part of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.

 

Keeping Your Heart Healthy *

Chronic obesity is often caused, in part, by poor eating habits. A steady diet of foods that are high in unhealthy saturated fats increases cholesterol levels. Excess amounts of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (so-called “bad cholesterol”) slowly increases deposits along artery walls. It’s this buildup that often contributes to heart disease and increases the risk of experiencing a heart attack or suffering a stroke. Following successful weight loss surgery, cholesterol and blood pressure levels may gradually return to normal, resulting in better overall heart health.

Added Confidence *

The confidence that frequently develops as patients see results from weight loss surgery often provides an incentive to stick to diet and exercise adjustments. An infusion of confidence may also encourage the exploration of new hobbies and the participation in activities likely to keep added weight from coming back.

Reliable Long-Term Results *

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) considers weight loss surgery as the only reliable and effective long-term treatment for patients who are severely obese, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above. Choosing an approach to weight loss that’s geared towards producing long-term results is a better alternative to fad diets and other short-term options often resulting in unhealthy up-and-down weight cycles.

Anywhere from 70 to 80 percent of patients do well following weight loss surgery, according to various estimates. Success with surgery for weight loss will depend on your ability to follow diet and exercise recommendations. Increase your odds of enjoying lasting benefits by taking the time to learn what you’ll need to do to maintain your results. Explore the different surgical procedures available based on your circumstances to determine what may work for you.