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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How Bariatric Surgery Continues to Improve Health

Have you considered bariatric surgery as a weight loss solution?

Bariatric surgery refers to a variety of surgical weight loss procedures,  including adjustable gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy, roux en-Y gastric bypass, biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch and neuromodulation. Though bariatric surgery has been around since the 1960s, it first gained notable popularity as a weight loss solution in the U.S. in the early 2000s, as individuals sought out more long-term solutions to weight loss. In a culture of countless, often ineffective, diet fads, surgical weight loss is for many the sustainable solution needed to transform their habits, appearance and health. Today, approximately 220,000 individuals undergo bariatric surgery each year.

The Benefits

Bariatric weight loss remains a top choice for individuals struggling with obesity because unlike other options for weight control, bariatric surgery offers a more permanent, physical solution by actually shrinking the stomach. More importantly, it's highly effective. Studies find that, on average, in the three years following bariatric surgery patients lose 90 pounds.

The benefit of bariatric surgery extends beyond pounds lost; those that undergo surgical weight loss procedures can also reduce their risk of adverse health conditions related to obesity, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and early mortality. One study even found that bariatric surgery decreased individuals' mortality rates by 89%. Research has also shown that bariatric surgery can  reverse existing Type II diabetes. The less disease and health risk, the fewer medications individuals need to take and the less money spent treating these preventable diseases.

Lower Costs, Decreased Risks

Bariatric surgery also remains a popular weight loss solution because it continues to decrease in cost and risk. Whereas initial approaches to bariatric surgery involved a significant abdominal incision, today bariatric surgery is minimally invasive  and is considered equivalent to other routine medical surgeries, like gallbladder removal. Patients also typically return home the same day of their procedure and can return to work after one week.

Bariatric surgery is further becoming a more affordable option for individuals. While the expense varies between states (Oklahoma has one of the lowest average costs for bariatric surgery), most insurance companies do cover at least one of the three main types of bariatric surgery, making it far less expensive for patients.

The fact that the American Medical Association officially deemed obesity a disease in 2013 may also explain, in part, the continued interest in bariatric surgery. Obese individuals are less burdened with the stigma that obesity is exclusively a "choice," and are more encouraged to treat their medical disease with a medical solution.

Who Is Eligible for Bariatric Surgery?

Candidates interested in bariatric surgery will need to consult with reputable healthcare organizations, like Oklahoma City surgery center Summit Medical Center. Candidates can't simply choose to have the surgery, they must be deemed eligible by a certified medical professional. This is for the health and safety of the patient, and surgery approval will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Generally, bariatric surgery candidates must:

·         Maintain a BMI of 40 Kg/M2 or higher
·         Maintain a BMI of 30 Kg/M2  with at least one obesity-related medical problem

Specific obesity-related medical problems that may qualify an individual with a BMI of 30 Kg/M2 or higher include high blood pressure, sleep apnea, Type II diabetes, severe arthritis, acid reflux disease, joint pain and back pain.

Bariatric surgery candidates may also be those that are unable to lose weight even after medically-supervised dieting; in other words, bariatric surgery is typically not the first course of action for weight loss.  

Looking Ahead

A report from BCC Research predicts that the bariatric surgery industry in the United States will increase to $1.9 billion by 2018, up from 2013's 1.2 billion. Though a recent article from The New York Times reveals that the obesity rate in the U.S. has demonstrated a sustained decrease for the first time in 40 years, nearly 35% of adults are still obese. Bariatric surgery will thus likely remain a popular option for addressing the persisting obesity epidemic, particularly as procedures like laproscopic sleeve gastrectomy and laproscopic mini gastric bypass surgery, two of the safest and most effective gastric bypass procedures, continue to improve.

Learn more about the gastric bypass surgery options offered through Summit Medical Center's Wiseweight Bariatric Program by contacting us today! 

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