Can Bariatric Surgery Help You Live Longer?

Posted by Patrick Domkowski on Thu, Sep 27, 2012

Any decision to have surgery should not be taken lightly. Even the most basic surgeries are still surgeries and come with risks. Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, comes with relatively little risk and high rewards. The goal of any surgery is generally to improve a patient’s current medical condition, therefore extending their life. Naturally, potential weight loss surgery candidates would want to know if bariatric surgery can help them live longer in addition to other benefits to bariatric surgery. We’re here to answer that question for you!

bariatric-surgery-weight-loss-live-longerWhat is bariatric surgery for weight loss? 

Before learning the benefits of weight loss surgery, you should be familiar with what weight loss surgery is. Living with obesity comes with major health risks and an often shortened life span. In certain situations losing weight through diet and exercise simply isn’t feasible. In these cases bariatric surgery weight loss is recommended. Weight loss surgery works by either restricting the amount of food your stomach can hold at one time, or by preventing your digestive system from absorbing all the nutrition in the food you consume. Some surgeons use both tactics in order to achieve weight loss. There are several types of bariatric surgery and you should speak with your bariatric surgeon to find out which is right for you.

Bariatric surgery benefits and outcomes

Of course the primary goal of bariatric surgery is weight loss. On average people lose 61% of excess weight after gastric bypass surgery and 47% after gastric banding. In addition to weight loss however, many participants see a resolution of other obesity-related conditions.

  • 83% of patients were no longer diabetics.
  • 74%-98% resolved their obstructive sleep apnea.
  • 41%-76% resolved their degenerative joint disease or orthopedic problems.
  • 52%-92% no longer had high blood pressure.

Bariatric surgery can be associated with resolution or improvement of other conditions as well. These include skin infections, skin rashes, ankle swelling, heart failure, infertility, lymphedema and asthma. Overall, 95% of patients experienced an improved quality of life post bariatric surgery for weight loss.

Can bariatric surgery help you live longer?

The big question: Can bariatric surgery help you live longer? The answer: Yes! While more research still has to be done, current findings are showing reduced rates of mortality amongst bariatric surgery patients. On average, weight loss surgery extended a patient's life span by 6.5 years. With reduced weight also comes a reduced risk for obesity-related conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Many patients who already had these conditions even saw them become resolved after surgery. This benefit can, in many cases, contribute to a longer lifespan as well. For instance, those with diabetes at age 50, on average, have six years taken off their life. Eliminating this health risk through weight loss will likely extend your life.

Best bariatric surgery and bariatric surgery doctors

Often people want to know what the best bariatric surgery option is. The “gold standard” is the gastric bypass surgery, however surgeons are continuing to develop new and better surgeries. The lap band surgery, for instance, is becoming increasingly popular. Keep in mind each type of bariatric surgery comes with its own sets of advantages and disadvantages; the same goes for bariatric surgery doctors. The real question is, “which bariatric surgery and bariatric surgery doctor is best for me?” Do your research and talk to your doctor if you’re seriously considering bariatric surgery.


Tags: Bariatric Surgery Benefits

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