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Benefits versus risks of Bariatric surgery

 

Bariatric surgery is a great innovation in medical sciences that revolutionized the treatment of morbid obesity (used to be a difficult to treat condition some decades ago). Excess body weight creates a lot of trouble and reduces the life expectancy. According to an estimate morbidly obese people have chance of dying 8-10 years before their expected life. Increased mortality in obesity is due to cardiovascular diseases, stroke and cancer.

Losing weight improves the quality of life and cures many diseases that arise as complications of obesity. Bariatric surgery in this regard is extremely helpful in losing weight effectively in patients who are morbidly obese (BMI more than 40). Some of the benefits of Bariatric surgery include,

  • 80-90% patients undergoing Bariatric surgery procedures lose excessive weight and come to normal weight at 18 months.
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus is cured in more than half of the patients who undergo weight loss surgery and in the remaining patients it comes under good control with lesser doses of drugs.
  • High blood pressure or hypertension is cured in a number of people and most of the patients get good control of blood pressure with reduction in doses of the anti-hypertensive drugs.
  • Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, loud snoring during sleep and respiratory problems are improved in many patients who undergo Bariatric surgery and lose excess weight.
  • Risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke reduces significantly due to lowering of fats in the blood. Reduction in cardiovascular disease and stroke also improves life expectancy.
  • Significant weight loss after Bariatric surgery reduces the chances of cancers like colon cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer and others.
  • Pain from osteoarthritis is improved in more than half of the patients undergoing weight loss surgery and losing excessive weight.
  • Bariatric surgery causes excessive weight loss and improves body image that allays depression, anxiety and improves the mental performance.

Overall mortality is reduced up to 53% in patients who are morbidly obese and undergo Bariatric surgery. Where there is no doubt about effectiveness of Bariatric surgery, peoples are also concerned about safety of the weight loss surgery procedures. There are some risks involved in getting Bariatric surgery but these are negligible when compared to the potential benefits. Overall mortality from Bariatric surgery procedures is just 0.2% which means that one out of five hundred patients undergoing Bariatric surgery is at risk of death.

Common complications during Bariatric surgery procedures include infections, deep venous thrombosis, incisional hernia, dumping, strictures and others. All these complications are those which occur at a very low rate if Bariatric surgery is performed by experienced surgeon in a facility having clean sterilized operation theatre and all the facilities for safe surgery. Overall benefits overweigh the risks involved in Bariatric surgery and people having BMI more than 40 or those who have BMI 35 with some serious medical illness are good candidate for such kind of surgery. In such morbidly obese people Bariatric surgery proves extremely helpful for losing weight and coming to normal weight. Risks related to the procedures can be minimized if a good facility for weight loss surgery is selected.

Remember a good facility for Bariatric surgery is a dedicated Bariatric surgery hospital with experienced surgeons, state of the art operation theatres, intensive care unit, experienced nutrionist, helping staff and effective follow-up service. Bariatric surgery centers which claim to be a few dollars cheap may be lacking these facilities for patient’s safety and may augment the misery of the patient in term of complications and sometimes even leading to death.

 

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