Severe Obesity: When Surgical Intervention is a Necessity
Obesity is a serious health concern. This condition is characterized by an excessive accumulation of fat in the body and has been linked to very many medical conditions and co-morbidities. Excessive body fat in general affects the way a person walks, breathes, sleep and other common body functions. Most people who are affected by severe obesity experience difficulty performing simple day to day tasks.
In addition to the decreased quality of life, overweight and obese patients are also more likely to suffer from other serious health conditions like; Type 2 diabetes and heart conditions, as compared to other people of the same age and gender with what is considered“normal weight”.
Obesity is mostly diagnosed using the Body Mass Index (BMI) which determines whether or not a person is underweight, of normal weight, overweight, moderately obese or morbidly obese. This is determined by calculating the ratio of a person’s height in relation to their weight.
Patients suffering from obesity can be categorized as; overweight, moderately obese or severely (morbidly) obese. While being overweight or moderately obese decreases your quality of life and also predisposes you to various health conditions; you can still be able to maintain your weight through diet and exercise.
Severe obesity is so much harder to manage and because of this; it is considered the most serious stage of obesity. Many studies have shown that severely obese patients often fail to lose excess weight even through dieting and exercise.
More than ten years ago, Bariatric /Weight-loss surgery was recognized by National Institute of Health (NIH); one of the leading health and medical research centers globally; as the only effective solution for severe obesity and long-term weight loss. NIH reported that severely obese people find it extremely difficult to lose weight or even maintain any little weight loss achieved even after strict dieting, increased physical exercises and other usual therapies aimed at achieving weight-loss.
Can Weight-Loss Surgery Really Help?
Many people struggling with severe obesity have probably tried many times to lose weight through numerous diet plans that, weight-loss exercises and even the occasional magic pill( commercial weight loss programs) that online “ weight-loss experts” swear will work without any success. As a result, these people often feel often feel trapped in an endless weight-gain cycle.
If this is you, perhaps it is time to consider having a weight-loss surgery.
Bariatric surgery has been proven to be a very effective treatment for severe obesity. When combined with an all-inclusive treatment program, studies have shown that weight loss surgery not only helps severely obese patients achieve and maintain long-term weight loss, it also greatly helped improve and even resolve other serious diseases associated with obesity.
Even so, it is important to understand that the long-term weight loss can only be achieved by adopting a complete lifestyle change after the weight loss surgery.
How exactly does it Work?
Weight loss surgeries such as the gastric sleeve, the gastric bypass and gastric banding may work in two ways. They can either change the anatomy (structure) of the stomach and the digestive system or cause various physiologic changes which result in changes in your fat metabolism and energy balance.
Certain weight loss surgeries may also have an effect on the production of hormones in the intestines such that feelings of hunger and appetite are reduced. One will also feel full after eating small portions of food.
Benefits of Weight-loss (Bariatric) Surgery
Bariatric surgery helps severely obese patients live better qualities of life in the long run. Obesity is linked with breathing problems, knee and joint pain and fatigue among other impairments. Once severely obese patients lose begin losing weight after bariatric surgery, they regain the ability to sleep, move and breathe with less difficulty .They basically begin to live more normal lives.
Better Cardio-vascular health
Since severe obesity is strongly linked to heart attacks, strokes and other heart diseases, by helping patients realize sustained weight loss, bariatric surgery can be said to significantly reduce the risk factor for heart diseases.
It is a long-term solution for Diabetics
Studies show that overweight and obesity are the biggest contributing factors for type 2 Diabetes (also known as Diabetes Mellitus). In fact, more than 90 % of all patients living with Type 2 Diabetes are either obese or overweight. It is estimated that the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in morbidly obese people is increased by at least 93 percent for women and over 43% for men.
The saddest part about this is that type 2 diabetes is considered to be the biggest cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputations, heart diseases, and blindness in adults, kidney failure, problems in pregnancy hypertension and many other health issues. In the USA, the American Diabetes Association recommends weight loss surgery for obese adults (those with a BMI of 35 or more) living with Type 2 Diabetes.
Bariatric surgery; sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass in particular) have been proven to be a very effective in treating Type 2 Diabetes.
Almost all severely obese diabetics suffer from joint and knee pain. This is because they have excessive body fat which strains the joints; causing severe pain and even permanent damage to the joints. Bariatric surgery causes sustained weight loss which helps alleviate the strain on joints and pressure points.
As a result, patients are able to live without constant pain medication and they can also move around more easily.
It Alleviates Depression
Many people who struggle with weight issues often struggle with self-esteem issues and depression. This affects people of all ages, but it is a bigger problem in children and teenagers because obese and overweight children tend to be bullied more in school. Since Bariatric surgery has proven very successful in sustained weight loss, it also helps people struggling with body image issues gain confidence in their appearance. As a result, their depression improves.
Studies also show that the weight loss realized by women of childbearing age after weight loss surgery improves their fertility and reduces their risk of pregnancy-related complications.
Long-term Weight Control
It has now been proven that followed with a complete change in diet and lifestyle, bariatric surgery helps patients achieve and maintain long-term weight loss.
It May Just Increase your Longevity
Obesity has been linked to serious medical conditions. Because bariatric surgery helps obese patients lose weight and sustain the weight loss long-term, they are then able to live healthier lives with the reduced risk of developing health problems associated with obesity.